“Feed” by Brista Drake: Flash Non-Fiction Essay

My father wanted to try raising pigs while I was in high school. Raising an animal was popular if you were in 4-H, which I joined when I was fourteen. And my mom wanted nothing to do with farm living, even though she did indeed live on a farm.

But anyway, we got the pigs and Mom found every little excuse to get rid of them. Who’s going to feed them, Bryan? I’m going to have to go out there and feed them or they’re going to starve. My dad was a simple man, and he believed that pigs and all livestock had an instruction manual, and he read books and listened at 4-H meetings to know the healthy rations to give my pigs. Yet, Mom would still claim that my father was neglecting them and she’d go out and fill their feeders full each morning, afternoon, and night. It really made keeping track of their expenses tedious, to the point that I decided to add up all the bags of feed right before fair time and I’d guess the dates that we bought them. I also figured that my pig’s net value was going to be in the negatives. Maybe she did that on purpose.

But my mom did love the pigs. We had a sow (female pig with babies) and a boar (male pig), which neither could reproduce because they got too big (Mom overfed them), and twelve or so piglets. My brother and I each chose one to take to the fair when they were a few weeks old, when their shape started to show. Mom walked them two to three times every day, usually when my brother and I were at school. When we got home, Mom was already out in the field with them usually. We never got a chance to pick up a routine, or even get to know our pigs for that matter.

Mom didn’t usually come to 4-H meetings. That was always Dad. But she did watch our final presentation. We held up the board that Mom had hostilely built with us, since neither we nor she knew the facts that were supposed to go on it, and we took turns reciting from the handbook the information on how to raise a healthy pig.

Four three more years until my senior year, we bought two little piglets, they were almost always at maximum weight during check-in, and they never stayed by our sides in the fair’s showmanship arena. And every year, for some reason, Mom bawled as they were herded onto the truck, saying she was going to miss them so, so much. I am still confused about it too this day.

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

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Inspirational Writing Story

When I had finally hit rock bottom was when I realized I wanted to be a writer. Many people start writing, and the reasons they start are very different, I think. For me, I had decided to pick up writing one early morning, and by early I mean middle-of-the-night early, before I clicked the next episode on Netflix. I was sitting in the dark in my childhood bedroom, alone, a college dropout, living with my parents, jobless, and even though I was only nineteen, it felt like I had wasted away a perfectly good life.

I needed help. Right then and there, I decided to write a long essay summarizing the previous years that led up to that morning. But after I was done, I felt something that I hadn’t in a long time: hunger.

You see, I had written one chapter after another, unaware that night had given away to morning, and that morning had given away to afternoon. I was unaware of how tired I should’ve been, but I didn’t feel tired at all. I was starving, literally and metaphorically.

I broke away from my computer twenty document pages later, realizing I’d been starving myself of something for some time now. What was this feeling? I had not felt anything since the day I graduated high school. On graduation day, I drew with chalk a wild cat on the sidewalk leading into the school building. I’ll miss you, NU! I captioned it. That day, I coined the phrase ‘to make a difference, you have to be a little different’ as my Words of Wisdom. I’d worked so hard leading up to that day, to keep my grades up and graduate in the top percentile. But until this early morning, I had not logged one memorable accomplishment in the past long year.

I never came close to writing this much in one sitting before, however. This was an internal discovery.

At first, I didn’t think I was a writer. I was simply writing a stress-relieving prose to myself. It wasn’t good at all. I didn’t know what proper grammar was. My spelling was atrocious. I’d gotten through every language arts class by using of Sparknotes. And in the back of my mind, I was sure that none of the twenty pages I had conjured were coherent enough to follow, unless I was the one reading it. But at least this had given me an idea – a task – to finish the story. To edit the thing if only to improve it so someone else could read it and understand what I was going through.

The lingering hunger was real, though. I typed “how to write a book” in YouTube’s search engine and found lots of resources. Scrolling through grammar videos, I stumbled across publishing sites and critique circles. I kept my involvement on my first critique circle low-key, only leaving feedback on partial manuscripts and never submitting chapters of my own. Eventually, after learning what good and bad writing was and many revisions of my work later, I posted my essay to these same websites and got lots of criticism, occasionally feeling dumb for spelling something horrifically incorrect.

I was enthralled. Any feedback, good or bad, made me so much hungrier. I resubmitted works after works until, finally, I felt like I could do something with my twenty-page thing. Twenty pages turned into fifty. Fifty turned into a hundred.

A few months later, on 2014’s New Year’s Eve, I made a decision to start documenting my writing progress on YouTube, like so many before me had done. In my first vlog (video blog), I publicly announced that I was going to publish a book within the next year. On top of that, I was going to read more. I thought reading books would help me know what was worth publishing. I was going to start a written blog, too. I was even going to attempt something called NaNoWriMo. During National Novel Writing Month, I would have to write 50,000 words, 1,666 words each day for a month. I was going to wait until November, the normal time to do it, but that was almost a year away and so I jumped the gun, finishing a total of two or three seasons before May.

Somehow, I felt like I’d joined a bigger conversation that had been going on since the beginning of time. With these new skills, I connected with some amazing people, gained more than a thousand subscribers, guest-spoke on NaNoWriMo’s YouTube channel, was featured on a podcast, annually read roughly twelve books, and most importantly I published my first of hopefully many books. Since that lonely morning three years ago, I can say that I’ve grown so much as an artist and as an individual. It never occurred to me that I’d one day be humbled by reading or writing.

And now with my full and purposeful life, I’m constantly craving for more, and I hope that hunger is never filled.

Thanks for reading,

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Book Signing: Welcome, Brista Drake

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My first book signing will be Sunday, July 19th, 2015 at 1 pm at the Bookloft in Columbus, Ohio. I chose this bookstore in particular because of it’s labyrinth-like appearance, featuring a total of 32 rooms that snake around each other. Go see for yourself! It’s definitely a place to stop by if you’re visiting the state’s capital.

I’ll be bringing my camera, for vlogging purposes, along with my own copies of Remedy for Memory that I’ll sign for you, a slideshow of pictures I find special, and my phone, just in case we want to talk about YouTube. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!

The address to the book loft is as followed:

631 S 3rd St

Columbus, OH 43206

P.S. I plan to leave before 4 pm. I might leave earlier, depending on the crowd, so please try to get there as early as possible.

_______________________________

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

My BOOK TRAILER!! Remedy for Memory

Remedy for Memory’s synopsis:

After some time, I could talk to people, but I couldn’t say your name. I couldn’t put your name next to how I was feeling. There was something broken, and I just . . . didn’t think anyone could believe me.

So I wrote it down instead. I wrote this all for me . . . For you.”

If Trisha could summarize in one word her entire past relationship with Aaron, “The Baron,” it’d be a long, sarcastic “thanks.” For most of his life, Aaron Madison glorified being the butt of every joke, but after meeting Trisha four years ago, everything had changed.

If there was a time to speak, it was now.

Come watch my progress in publishing on my YouTube channel, where I’m uploading a four minute update video each day!! Remedy for Memory is coming out mid-May, before my birthday! NO, WAIT, IT’S OUT NOW: http://www.amazon.com/Remedy-Memory-Brista-Drake/dp/148396017X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433606695&sr=8-1&keywords=brista+drake

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Q & A! Publishing Edition!

Hi blog followers! Ready for a Q&A? So, as you already know, I’m publishing my book soon. I want to reach out to you and ask if you need me to go over anything with you. I’ve already covered a few topics and have linked the blogs beside them, but if you want more specific things answered or you’d like me to present the information in a new way, let me know!

I am going to be posting in the near future in the “Topics Coming” section. Ask me questions to answer now so I can address them then. Remember, I’m trying to teach people all about publishing, so even if it’s not a question, share with me your ideas so I can broadcast them to everyone!

Lastly, all the “Others” is topics I haven’t talked about. If you’d like to see a blog on the matter, let me know! Have any questions that are not on the list? Shout them out! All these bulletins are a template to guide you with your questions, not a list of commandments you must follow. Ask me anything relating to writing!

Topics Covered

Book Cover: https://writingmime.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/cover-design-for-self-published-books/

Editor: https://writingmime.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/how-to-find-proof-editors/

Acknowledgments: https://writingmime.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/the-acknowledgments-section/

eBook pricing: https://writingmime.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/another-traditional-vs-self-publishing-blog/

Book trailer: https://writingmime.wordpress.com/2013/09/09/what-makes-a-good-book-trailer/

Bio & Author page: https://writingmime.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/how-to-write-a-bioauthors-page/

Others

Synopsis

Title

Pre-order

Interior pictures

Author picture

Interior design

Formatting eBook

Writing advice

Translation

Printing draft

Post publishing specifics

Writing specifics

Q&A others

Thanks for your input!

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

Short Writing Blog Wrap Up of 2014 and Goals for 2015

I want to make 2014’s writing wrap up short and sweet. So let’s jump into it.

 

“1: This year, I want to try to write in my book every day.”

 

I didn’t write in my book every day, but I wrote every day during two NaNos this year.

“2: I want to read more.”

 

YES! I read so much more! I actually made it a goal to read at least one book a month. SO YES!! (I usually don’t read much).

 

“3: I want to practice writing scenes without periods.”

I work on that… then I stopped. BUT TECHNICALLY YES.

 

“4: I want to write dialogue with a voice.”

 

I THINK MY VOICE HAS IMPROVED TREMENDOUSLY.

 

“5: I never want to backpedal in my writing.”

 

I’ve cleaned this up most particularly in my book I’m writing currently.

 

“6: I want to critique more.”

 

I think I critiqued, but I feel like I critiqued less. .. Well, actually. I critiqued and edited Clay’s book.

 

“7: I want to have a daily word.”

 

No, but during April and November I had a word every day for both NaNoWriMos.

 

“8: I want to keep a journal.”

I wrote in my journal every day for the past year, so check.

 

“9: I want to learn more idioms.”

 

Nope. I have a whole list of them, but it’s never been looked at.

 

“10: Finally, I want to blog more.”

 

Without a doubt, I’ve blogged more. My goal for the year was to have 24 and I ended with 30. 😀

(IF you want to see my 2014 writing goals were I go into more detail, click on this post!)

THE GOALS FOR THIS BLOG DURING 2015!!

  1. I want one book review per month.
  2. Read more.
  3. Announce a book release.
  4. Have at least one post about writing each month.
  5. AND COMMENT ON OTHER PEOPLE’S REVIEWS!!!

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

The 25 Most Beautiful Public Libraries in the World

And the 25 most beautiful PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN THE WORLD!!

Flavorwire

[Editor’s note: In celebration of the holidays, we’re counting down the top 12 Flavorwire features of 2012. This post, at #3, was originally published April 16.] We’re suckers for beautiful libraries here at Flavorpill, as you might have noticed from our lists of beautiful college libraries and beautiful private libraries from all over the world. But public libraries are probably even more important to the culture at large than either of these — they’re places where anyone can enter and partake of knowledge they offer, where anyone can engage with history, literature and culture. And while we know it’s the books that are important, everyone likes to read in a beautiful space, so we decided to take a look at the most beautiful public libraries in the world. We excluded some very beautiful libraries that may be open to the public as museums or tourist attractions but with…

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The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World

The most beautiful BOOKSTORES IN THE WORLD!!

Flavorwire

[Editor’s note: In celebration of the holidays, we’re counting down the top 12 Flavorwire features of 2012. This post, at #1, was originally published January 31.] With Amazon slowly taking over the publishing world and bookstores closing left and right, things can sometimes seem a little grim for the brick and mortar booksellers of the world. After all, why would anyone leave the comfort of their couch to buy a book when with just a click of a button, they could have it delivered to their door? Well, here’s why: bookstores so beautiful they’re worth getting out of the house (or the country) to visit whether you need a new hardcover or not. We can’t overestimate the importance of bookstores — they’re community centers, places to browse and discover, and monuments to literature all at once — so we’ve put together a list of the most beautiful bookstores…

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Ten Writing Goals For 2014

Well, I’m a few days late, but it’s better than never. I’ve been so busy with all my goal setting, I just couldn’t put my two pennies in to make this post. If you’re wondering what those other goals besides writing are for the year, here’s a link to my new video, called 2014 New Year’s Resolution.

Well, I thought this would be a really neat idea to see if I could make a list of ten writing goals I want to do this year. I mean, if you really think about it, I could write a book simply about my goals to write a book.

So here we go.

Ten Writing Goals For 2014

1: This year, I want to try to write in my book every day. It seems in the past that I’ve neglected writing, sometimes for months, sometimes weeks…But this year, I want to be canon about my writing. And there is no minimum amount of words – I really just want to write every single day, just because I know it’s something I should get used to. Like I said, it doesn’t matter what I write because it’s better than writing nothing.

2: I want to read more. So far, from what I’ve read last year, I’ve obtained a number of footnotes that have inspired more expression inside my book. I feel like I should make the effort in reading more because I’ve seen the improvement in my writing by a great deal (no, I’m not plagiarizing). I picked up techniques from different authors, so for me, it’s kind of necessary now – if I ever want to get really, really good. I’ve actually made a goal to reach six books this year (which sounds horrible, I know), but I digress.

3: I want to practice writing scenes without periods. What I mean by this is I’ve seen great novels written, John Green’s novels in particular, which are written line by line, without periods, for many paragraphs, but lots of commas. This so happens to be the type of writing I want to get into; the words have an immediacy about them that keeps the readers venturing forward. Very little action can take place, but every line is more of a bias opinion of the world around the main character in any point of view. If you don’t know what I mean, why not pick up Looking For Alaska by John Green, and see how much inner thought he puts into each sentence without actually presenting any real action?

I want to try another technique I found from reviewing a friend’s book: when describing an action scene, show an expression/action, and then thoroughly explain it. This is a beginners way of writing, but every author has to start somewhere, and as I was critiquing my friend, I noticed how jumpy they were and asked them to clarify what they meant by their description. You are always safer writing more detail that you can later cut out. Here’s an example of what I mean: “The boy saw a fly, shivered, and then smacked it.” Why not tell us why he shivered in a bias thoughtful tone? “The boy saw a fly, something with more than four legs, which he hated, shivered, and then smacked it.” The boy didn’t actually speak, but it shows personality.

I want to improve my writing, by making sure every single expression is explained in depth. The problem with not having enough detail is that the reader doesn’t know how to feel or think at moments, and that is where the author is supposed to be the most support. These are the most poetic moments too, so over-write!

4: I want to write dialogue with a voice. There is no need to put an adverb behind “I said,” “he said,” “she said” if your dialogue can speak for itself. “What are you doing in my house!” Jake said excitedly. This might work for readers in grade school, but for a book to be taken more seriously, I want to respect my audience enough to trust they understand that this quote speaks for itself. I would not put the adverb “excitedly” behind Jake said, or I would say Jake shouted. Both work, and I want to make my dialogue speak for itself from now on. Go Stephen King! He makes strong quotes that express feeling without needing to use adverbs. All. The. Time.

5: I never want to backpedal in my writing. If a boy falls out of a vortex in his room, slowly creeps out, scared of what he might find, goes down stairs heading for the kitchen, and then thinks back to the vortex right before he steps down on the kitchen tiles, I call that backpedaling. And sometimes it’s very easy to backpedal. I saw this while critiquing a friend. I could tell they wanted to add more inner thoughts, but they were thinking about the wrong thing. What they had was poetic, but it wasn’t pushing the action forward, but instead walking backwards up the stairs and back into his room where the vortex was – not where the action was going (which was the eerie kitchen). A goal I want to keep this year is “kill my babies,” or take the good poetic lines that backpedal and make them into new forward-plot-moving poetry, which sounds just as good. Thanks, Stephen King, another great quote.

6: I want to critique more. Already, I’ve gotten great ideas from critiquing my co-authors last year, and so I want to increase the amount of critiquing I do. When I first started writing, http://www.critiquecircle.com/ was how I got involved with this type of interactive editing. I think I will go back to my roots this year, study the flaws in other’s writing and praise the good stuff I see, all while comparing it to my own work and possibly getting critiqued. I don’t see a single negative, except for not spending the time writing.

7: I want to have a daily word. Now, I’m debating whether I should just read through the thesaurus once and see if I get any ideas, but what I really think would help is if I just check out the daily word on dictionary websites and write down the good ones. This one’s pretty self explanatory.

8: I want to keep a journal. I’ve already been keeping a journal, so it only makes sense to continue to keep a journal. This is where all my notes, all my inspirational words, outlines, and some great suggestions from other writers are kept. I think it’s very important to keep a journal, so I’ma keep at it!

9: I want to learn more idioms. Unlike reading through the entire thesaurus, I think I really am considering reading the entire list of idioms and their definitions for a full list of expressions and sayings. All great stories have cleaver sayings like these. I actually have this entire list printed off and I’ve already started reading through it. Although, I don’t want to use these particular idioms, because I want to make my own, and only be inspired by these successes. Remember, be unique and have your own voice.

10: Finally, I want to blog more. Blogging is a completely different style of writing when compared to a novel. So, since it’s a variation of what I’m used to, I think it would be a good practice. Plus, I should always be writing. Plus Plus, I keep a good standing with my audience, which is always important. 😉

Last year, I found blogging, reading books, critiquing others, and keeping a journal to be proficient. For that reason, I can do more of each this year, and be more proficient, if ya’ know what I’m sayin’. The things I’ve never tried before in the past I’ve unearthed now, and am ready to jump into the new experiences. I won’t be updating on my progress, because it’s more of a personal effort on my part. But I do want you to take this and possibly make your own new year’s resolution for your writing, no matter what time of the year it is. Read another book before the year ends. Or start a blog. Whatever the case, it’s better to do something than nothing, I always say.

Thanks for reading you guys. There’s nothing more exciting then a fresh start. I hope to write again real soon (and just for your information, my actual goal for blogging is two posts a month).

Keep writing!

WritingMime

Where you can find my books: http://www.amazon.com/Brista-Drake/e/B00YZGC792/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/writingmime

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingMime

Tumblr: http://writingmime.tumblr.com/

Other Blog: http://writingmime.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/22704883-writingmime

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