Why I Write

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I don’t think I need to tell you that books mean the world to me. This is an obvious fact about me, and doesn’t need much of an explanation.

My love for reading very quickly bred a love of writing. I always enjoyed writing. I wrote ridiculous amounts of poetry as a teen and young adult that should never be published unless it’s going to be done in a comedic sense. Writing though, is not about perfection. Books on every level are a very subjective form of art. There are so many popular titles out in the world that I just did not enjoy. Just like there are many that I love, that others dislike as well. To be a writer you must first realize that not everyone is going to love your work, and the second thing to realize is that there will always be someone better than you. Seems daunting doesn’t it? It’s okay. We are all in this together. While these things may turn many people off from ever writing a single word of a story, it makes me want to tell my stories even more. So Why do I write?

To be a writer you must only do ONE thing, and that is to write. YOU HAVE TO WRITE. I consider myself a writer. I have spent countless hours writing thousands upon thousands of words. I am in the process of editing one book, while also throwing myself head first into research for another one. I have ideas written on notecards, notebooks, iPhone notes, and even a sandwich bag because my mind is constantly telling me stories. No this is not my way of admitting that I am crazy, although, I think to be a writer you need to have at least some dose of insanity somewhere within you.

What Inspires me?

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I get asked this sometimes by friends or family. I think what originally inspired me was stories like Harry Potter. That series specifically burst open my imagination. The detailing, and just unique story made me realize I had characters and stories of my own running around in my head. Characters with loud personalities matching those of the people who I have crossed paths with. Characters with personalities matching my own. Quiet, shy, and ready to kick ass if necessary.

I have always had notebooks scattered about the house. Piles of them telling different stories of my own reality. It was only in the past 5-6 years that I realized that I wanted to write about the other characters my imagination decided to introduce into my daily life.

Possibly the biggest inspiration behind my writing, really the biggest of them all is Portugal. I was born there you see. In a beautiful city called Viseu, where at the age of 30 I have only set foot on its streets a handful of times. rua-direitaI was raised so far away from it, far from it’s cobble stoned sidewalks, it’s gorgeous parks, and beautiful architecture, that for most of my adult life I’ve had a hunger–no, an unstoppable desire to become better acquainted with a land that I barely know, and yet love unconditionally.

A place where family has grown, aged, and lived without me within their immediate bubble. I am inspired to create worlds around that longing, and the history of Portugal. I can’t explain it any further here. One day, with a little bit of luck and a whole lot of hard work, I will be able to share the stories this feeling has inspired.

Till then, I leave you with these words:

Telling a story isn’t about perfection. It’s about expression, emotion, and that feeling that you’re making something bigger than yourself.
I write almost every day. None of it perfect. Never let that stop you because it will never stop me.
Ā 

Short Story Sunday – Part II

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Well well well, if it isn’t another Sunday. I know I said I would update this story on a bi-weekly basis, but well I got sick, and it blowed. I really didn’t bother updating the blog at all, and then had work to catch up on, but enough with the excuses here. If this is your first visit, then you will want to read Part One of the story.

PART ONE

Now that you read that, here’s Part Two. Enjoy!! Please note that I do this on a whim. No editing goes into it, and I basically just want to do this for fun. It helps get the brain flowing, so that I can go and work on my other stories. šŸ˜€ Still I really hope you enjoy it, and please feel free to share, comment, and like!! Peace and Love!!

NOTE: TRIGGER WARNING for Sexual Harassment. Please do not read if sensitive to this subject.Ā 

Part Two: Invitations and HesitationsĀ 

I really should tell you how I ended up locking myself away like a depressed Rapunzel in her tower. Yes, it comes down to that party invitation. I spent the next few days being extremely indecisive about it.

“I mean it could be fun.” I would say to Patrick one minute. “but then again, I think I would rather just stay in on Saturday.”

“Something new, then.” Patrick would reply. “Look I know you hate parties, and not everyone needs to be belligerent and drunk 24/7, but you haven’t really done much other than work on your art and selling pieces online–” As I was about to defend myself he cut in again,”Which works for you Zara. You are the way you are, but don’t you ever feel like trying? Try and meet new people, or just break out of your shell a little?”

After another day or two of me being wishy washy, and Patrick barely listening to my excuses by Friday night, I finally said while I was making dinner, “FINE! We will go, because YES, you are coming with me. Let’s be social. Let’s walk into the lion’s den!”

I didn’t get dressed up because it didn’t seem like that kind of party. Skinny jeans, white tee, and a black hoodie seemed like a perfect outfit. As we both walked out of our door to head down stairs to the party, patrick turned to me before locking the door, “You are sure you want to do this?”

“Well don’t question me NOW Pat. For fucks sake.” He moved aside and I closed the door to the apartment, took a breath and locked it.

When we arrived, I couldn’t find the host. It was already crowded and excessively loud. “I’m going to grab us a couple of beers. You’ll wait here?” I simply nodded at his question. I shoved my hand into the pockets of my hoodie and based myself against a wall. People kept walking by, dancing and spilling their drinks trying to get through. Suddenly someone was next to me, and he came really close to my ear to talk to me, I realized then that it was possibly just because over the loud music that there was no other way of communicating, but smoke signals would have felt less suffocating to me. He continued to talk, and I zoned out completely, as I tend to do under normal circumstances anyway.

“…and that’s how I ended up here.” Is what I heard from this tall stranger with black hair, green eyes and a chiseled jaw when I finally tuned back to earth. I laughed because he was laughing, and I responded with “Haha, that’s cool.” His expression kind of flickered, which told me he realized I hadn’t paid attention to a single word he said. At this point I could see Patrick carrying two beer bottles in his hand, all I could think was ‘thank god’. I turned my back on the stranger as Pat handed me a beer.

“Sorry they only had hipster microbrews here.”

“You mean cereal and milk left out in the sun for too long? It’s okay, I kind of expected that with this crowd.” I took a sip and shuddered. Patrick then waves at some dude across the room.

“It’s my coworker Daniel, wanna come with me?” Pat asked.

“No no, you go. I will be fine here.” and Patrick walked away. He glanced over his shoulder and hisĀ forehead creased as I felt a hand on my shoulder. When I turned, the stranger was still standing there.

“That your boyfriend?” he asks.

“Umm, no. Just a friend. Best friend actually.”

“Good.” and he put his hand on my waist. I winced at the touch. I grabbed his hand and placed it back on his side.

“Playing hard to get huh?” and the most disturbing grin crossed his face. I took a step back, as far as the crowd and walls would allow me, but he stepped forward. “I am not playing at all actually. Thank you, but NO thank you.” He wasn’t having it though, and he once again put his hand on my waist, grabbed it actually and brought me close to him with no effort at all. His face was close to mine at this point, and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. “Can you please let go of me?” and I glanced over at Patrick, but he wasn’t near his friend, he was struggling to get through the crowd to come to me. Suddenly I felt like a boulder fell onto my chest, and the hand on my waist felt more like a giant bear trap. I started to panic, and began to push myself out of his grip. At this very point he said “Fine, bitch!” and pushed me off. I stumbled back, my breath caught in my throat, and of course in this instance, I fell straight to the floor, the beer bottle in my hand crashing and breaking to pieces.

I knew I was having a panic attack, the heat rising to the back of my neck, my chest tightening. I struggled to get up, and cried out when placing my right hand down on the floor. There was glass stuck in my palm, blood rushing out. Patrick finally reached me, and helped me to my feet. Before I could say thank you, I turned and pushed out of the crowd to the building’s hallway. I ran again. I ran right back to the elevator and right to our apartment door. Realizing too late that Patrick had the key. I slammed my back against the door. I fell straight to the floor, and began to sob all while trying to calm my breathing.

I felt a hand on my arm, and flinched. It was Patrick.

“I’m sorry. You’re okay, you ARE safe.” He sat there with me, me against the door to our apartment, and him against the wall next to it. He didn’t touch me again. He let me calm down enough, to finally open the door. He guided me into the apartment, “Let’s get your hand cleaned up.”

“I…I Don’t want to gg..go to the hospital ththough.” I struggled to speak.

“No. No we will do it here, and if it needs more care, we can go tomorrow. Okay? Where’s your medication?”

“Ba-Bathroom.”

We walked slowly to the bathroom, and he cleaned out my hand. Carefully and slowly, cleaning out all the cuts as he went. “Take your medication, to calm down, and I will go make you some tea.”

I took my meds, and headed to the couch. I sat there crying, and I’ve been going back every day since. To sit there, occasionally crying. Patrick occasionally brings me tea. What a way to live.


Well that’s the end of part two. I know, it got a little dark, but I hope you liked the read.

See you next time!!

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the authorā€™s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Ā©2016 Joana Simoes. All Rights Reserved

The Worlds in my Head

photo-1450849608880-6f787542c88aI have loved reading books since a very young age. I remember it actually the first time I was learning how to read. The teacher had given us this yellow book, the story itself I cannot remember because I think I was about 5 or 6. The book was used and kind of old already at the time, it had a very distinct smell to it, as books often do. I remember a few years later having the most wonderful 5th grade teacher. Mrs.Taub was her name, and she might be truly responsible for my love of reading and beautiful stories. She would constantly read to us. She had us remember parts of Shakespeare, some of which I can still recite to you. I loved book fairs, I loved ordering books from those scholastic order forms(it is where I ordered my first Harry Potter Book, but not in 5th grade) My parents never said no when I asked for books. I had every single Goosebumps book. I loved Little House on the Prairie. I continued to read through my school years. I just really enjoyed it. Through that love, I also realized how much I loved to write.

Writing Teen Angst Poetry,Writing Fiction

Obviously I enjoy writing, or this blog most likely would not exist. The written word, for the most part, comes easy to me. Not saying that I am a five star writer, I can always improve. I have improved, especially in the last year. I realized the more books I read, the better my writing becomes, because now not only do I have these fictional worlds and stories building up in my head, I have found the right words to describe them. This is a great improvement to the humongous folder of poetry I wrote through out my teen years. Some of it isn’t awful, but a lot of it is just angsty rage or borderline depressing shit. I am at least a lot better then I was at that point in my life.

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But you see, I made a choice, and a promise to myself that I would continue to write. While last year (2015) was my most productive writing year with 40,000 words down for a contemporary story, I want to go further this year. I am nearly done with that story. I say nearly because it is entering the turning point, and its final hurrah. It is my absolute first full novel. The idea of that actually scared me for a while, and scared me to the point where I couldn’t really write. Still, I am not only proud of myself, I am looking forward to finishing this one. I want to dive into the other worlds and stories in my head. Currently I have 4 other major ideas, 2 of which I have started research on. More so for one, as it will be a historical fiction novel.

Why am I telling all of you about this? Well because I really hope to one day be able to share the worlds that are trapped in my head with you. I think there are some of you that would love them. I also feel like people don’t actually understand the deep seated love I have for writing and reading. Of course my job, my school work and my family will always come first, but writing? Writing is my heart and soul. It is my dream and my ultimate ambition. Sure it would be nice to get published. I would love to one day walk into a book store and see MY book on a shelf. That won’t come easy.

The Year of Writing

That is why this year, I am calling it the year of writing. This is NOT a resolution. I do not make resolutions. I started this last year, but I had many bad moments where I lost sight of what I was writing, and why. There were days where every word looked awful within my story. I think I will have those days again. It seems to be a part of the territory. This year though, I need to push myself through those moments where my confidence falters. I just need to write a little bit each day. If it’s a bad day, I need to put at least 200 words down on a page. I need to pull more late nights at some point. I need to finish this first book and spark up the next one. I have to do this for myself. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do on the other hand need to prove to myself that this is something I can do. This is something I feel happy doing. I may feel tired some mornings this year, but the outcome will be worth it.

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So as I type this, I am looking at a couple of books I am about to crack open for research purposes for my next story. I know the road ahead is paved with caffeine jitters and notes of all shapes and sizes, but I am looking forward to continuing this journey, and I hope that some of you will be there at the finish line.

MATG