Changes in Mindset – On Writing

I read somewhere that once we start believing we have nothing left to improve upon, we are doomed to fail. As a writer, I have learned a few important skills that I apply to my writing as I learn and grow. Perhaps, these skills might help you too!

I have watched myself grow as a writer, and I am happy with my progress; however, there are always areas I can improve upon. I find myself researching and seeking professional writers’ advice often, and when I apply their advice to my work, I can see the difference it makes. Being open to constructive criticism is an important trait as a writer. Learning the difference between constructive criticism and unsolicited insults is another important lesson; however, it is a bit more painful.

It is impossible to please everyone!!!!

If one desires to write about a specific subject, they should be able to do so without fear of upsetting someone. Before I continue my thought, let me be very clear, I do not mean this is an acceptable excuse for racist comments or bullying; there are no excuses for such behavior! I am referring to specific topics some see as “taboo.” I.e., sex.

I pass no judgment on what other writers choose to write, but there is a big difference between romance and smut. I prefer the former. I enjoy writing the intimacy between the characters and their emotions tied to their lovemaking more than writing the actual act of lovemaking. Don’t get me wrong, writing sex scenes is hot and can be a lot of fun, but I don’t enjoy reading page after page about his “throbbing member” or her “perky nipples,” so it only makes sense that I don’t want to write that way either.

I have refrained from writing sex scenes at all, leaving the readers with their imagination of what happens when the bedroom door closes, but it’s unsatisfying. I’ve heard from my readers that it is unsatisfying. To be honest, I’m unsatisfied while writing it. The reason for writing the levity and chemistry between my characters is to make my readers fall for them. If I do my job correctly, my readers root for my characters to confess their love and then express that love through different forms of intimacy. Denying my readers the physical intimacy between my characters is not only cruel; it’s teasing. I enjoy teasing, and I might leave my readers hanging in suspense for a few chapters (evil laugh), but ending my book without that sweet release would make me a tease, and I’ve never wanted to be associated as one.

Here’s the thing, I enjoy writing romance, and I’m terrific at it; that is until I get to the sex scenes. My work either looks like I am submitting an article to Penthouse Forum or explaining the beautiful act of lovemaking to a teenager; there is no in-between. I need to hone my skills and practice these scenes. Yes, I don’t need to share all of them; however, I do want your feedback. I am open to constructive criticism, and I need to hear from my readers what parts are lacking, where I can turn up the heat, and as hard as it might be to hear, what content is cringe-worthy because I don’t want that in my novel. (Or my blog, for that matter. You guys deserve quality content.)

I can no longer refrain from writing sex scenes to appease those readers who have reached out and told me they don’t like them. I have heard your concerns and distaste, and I appreciate those of you who try to look out for me, but not writing sex scenes hinders my skills, and I cannot allow that to continue. Please know, my intentions are not to offend anyone. I am careful not to pass judgment or misinformation on subjects I don’t fully understand, which is why I immerse myself in so much research.

Since I’m looking inward, I have also discovered it is not just the fear of offending others with my writing but also making myself vulnerable. My writing is fictitious, but writing clearly and concisely about a subject means I understand what I am talking about, which makes me a little vulnerable. While my characters are not representations of who I am, my writing surely is.

I suppose I’m also a little nervous for the people who know me personally to read my work. I realize it might sound silly, coming from a 36-year-old woman, but do I really want my brother, aunts, uncles, and grandma to read this side of me? I imagine if I talked to them about it, they would probably tell me we’re all adults, we all enjoy sex, and writing about it between fictional characters is far different than writing about my personal experiences.

When I turn to the experts they all say the same thing. Read a lot, and write a lot.

Practice! Practice! Practice!

After doing a lot of reading and writing, which is pretty much my basic go-to’s to wind down anyway, here is what I am left with, the best romance novels I have read have sex scenes in them. These sex scenes are hot and steamy, but they do not mention vulgar words for private parts, and there is emotion tied to every action. There is heat in body language and unspoken words through eye contact. I find that romantic scenes are the perfect opportunity for me to write prose or poetic lines, and I really want to practice this. No, I NEED to practice this. The ability to compare the act of lovemaking to something as beautiful as a meteor shower is something I aspire to do. 

There is only one way I can achieve my goal, and that is by practicing! Not every fictional story I share on the blog will be filled with sex scenes, but you will start seeing more of them. I understand if you don’t like that and don’t want to read my work. I take no offense. You need to be true to who you are, just as I need to be true to who I am. I can only improve my writing skills by expanding and writing scenes that are out of my comfort zone. I am not ashamed to admit that there are areas of my writing that need improving, and I have no shame in asking for your feedback.

You, my lovely readers, will always hold a dear spot in my heart, and I am so thankful that I can turn to you in times of support and trust that you will tell me how I can become a better writer. When I do make it, and you pull my book off your bookshelf, you will know you had a hand in it because it was your feedback, advice, and support that moved me to accomplish this life-long dream.

I look forward to meeting all of you at my book signing! Haha.

Thank you in advance for your unwavering support, I would not be the woman or the writer I am today without you.

Love & life lessons,

Kristian

Posted in Lessons, This Is Me | Tagged , , , , | 47 Comments

Spring is Coming

these dark and dusty
cutthroat mornings
are fading
as the sunlight filters
through the blinds
kissing my clavicle
i lower my blankets
reveling in the warmth
of nature’s furnace
upon my breasts
i smile a genuine smile
the songbirds sing
good morning
and i hum them a tune
can you feel it?
Spring is coming

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , | 20 Comments

Over and Under

After a long hiatus we are back with episode 7!! Neil and I were having a hard time coming up with topics to discuss. After a year of being stuck in the house together, doing the same damn things day in and day out, it’s hard to find interesting topics to discuss and share with the world.

In this week’s episode, we discuss overrated and underrated music. I have posted the links to the bands and songs we mention in the episode at the end of this post.

We hope you enjoy this episode, and we would greatly appreciate any feedback you have for us. We want to start engaging more with our listeners, but it’s hard to do if you remain silent. Let us know what you think and give us some topic ideas you would like to hear us discuss! If we use your ideas, we’ll give you a shoutout!

Thank you & happy listening!

Love & life lessons,

Kristian

Here are the links to the bands and songs we mention:

Underrated Bands/Songs

  1. Black Crowes
    https://youtu.be/8V38Qej-3Tw
  2. Presidents of the United States of America
    https://youtu.be/-z02Y54Ce3U
  3. Casper Babypants –
    https://youtu.be/dMK60Y0g0_Q
  4. Charles Bradley
    https://youtu.be/UD1eaRDY-q4
  5. Paolo Nutini
    https://youtu.be/uQ5zYwiEUrA
  6. Hero of the Day & Bleeding Me by Metallica
    https://youtu.be/XkfO8c8MlKU
    https://youtu.be/ftV_XepIwpo
  7. Candlebox
    https://youtu.be/eu3EuWg2qNI
  8. The Darkness
    https://youtu.be/QSGa1dW_KoE
  9. Deep Purple
    https://youtu.be/W1PNvopXjbg
  10. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
    https://youtu.be/kPJm7lYMjJs

Cover Songs

  1. Faith No More – Easy
    https://youtu.be/vPzDTfIb0DU
  2. Corey Taylor – Wicked Game
    https://youtu.be/WbQJsjOFYhE
  3. Charles Bradley – Changes
    https://youtu.be/zfaOf70M4xs
  4. Heart – Stairway to Heaven
    https://youtu.be/LFxOaDeJmXk
  5. John Mayer – Free Fallin’
    – Call me the Breeze
    https://youtu.be/20Ov0cDPZy8
    https://youtu.be/XBLgIFAVi_4

Overrated Musicians

  1. Celine Dion
    https://youtu.be/VTxnqUhhlIY
  2. Amy Winehouse
    https://youtu.be/vfTHe64HQB0
  3. Aerosmith
    https://youtu.be/DMMCeU4aUmU
  4. Beyonce
    https://youtu.be/4m1EFMoRFvY
  5. AC/DC
    https://youtu.be/pAgnJDJN4VA
  6. The Beatles (Early Stuff)
    https://youtu.be/srwxJUXPHvE
Posted in Music Is Life, podcast | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

The Bleeding of Me

Imagine that you are thrown into a pool without knowing how to swim. The pool is full of obstacles that you must get through just to make it to the shallow end where you can finally breathe. This is how I feel, all of the time, lately. I have responsibilities, and sometimes those responsibilities become backed up because I have so much on my plate I struggle to get everything done. Then I’m left looking at what needs to be done, and I have difficulty relaxing. It’s a vicious cycle.

I suffer from seasonal depression; add to it that I haven’t left my house in over a year due to the pandemic, a health scare with my father (he is fine, by the way,) but I am going a bit stir crazy. I think that’s true for most of us. My father is getting older, and I’ve noticed little things that I need to keep a closer eye on, but he is thriving, living alone for the most part. I think he’ll be able to do so for a few more years. I’m looking into ways to make life a little easier for him, so he can still keep his independence.

Being a caregiver isn’t the easiest of tasks. I don’t mean to complain, I’d marry Neil all over again if I had the chance, but that doesn’t mean that life isn’t difficult or that it doesn’t get the best of me sometimes. Neil does what he can to help, but mostly everything falls on me. Now I’ve gone and added University student to the numerous hats I already wear, I believe I might be a glutton for punishment.

In addition to this funk I’m in and can’t seem to bring myself out of, I am disgusted by the racism in this world. How anyone can look at anyone else regardless of skin color, nationality, etc… and not see the human spirit inside that person is beyond me. I will never understand it, it will always make me angry, and due to that, sometimes I have to take a step back. It’s not that I won’t raise my voice and stand with anyone who is different than I am because I will always stand for what I believe in, but sometimes the anxiety isn’t worth it. For example, I got into it with a Trump supporter who posted a very racist comment on Facebook not too long ago. This particular woman commented about slavery reparations and how she should paint her skin black so she can receive the help from her country that she deserves. Well, let’s just say this didn’t sit well with me. She asked a simple question, “How is my comment racist when I’m just speaking the truth?” Being the naive soul I can be, at times, I honestly thought that maybe she truly didn’t understand how her comment was racist, so I decided to educate her. I even brought credible sources to back up my thoughts, and when I asked her where she got her information to support her counterpoints, she became angry. Instead of providing me with sources or admitting that she didn’t have credible sources to back her information, she decided to take the bullying route. Instead of answering my question, this 50-year-old woman responds by telling me that she doesn’t think I’m pretty because of the gray streak in my hair and then proceeded to tell me that I’m ugly.

Don’t mind the silly filter; it’s the most recent picture I have where you can really see all of the silver in my hair.

The old Kristian would have replied with some snarky comeback about how she is too stupid to back up her sources and too closed-minded to listen to any kind of reason or even want to be educated on subjects she doesn’t understand. Instead, I responded with the following gif:

Sometimes, the best answer is just to walk away, and I’m proud of myself for leaving it at this because any sane person who sees her post will realize she’s the one who came out looking like an idiot.

I am going through the motions, and I’m trying to pull myself out of my funk, and I’m trying not to let things outside of my control bother me so much. I am growing and learning and adapting new beliefs. I plan to write about this, and I hope to get back to blogging somewhat regularly again, but I tend to fall inward when I’m feeling depressed. I have a hard time reaching out to people, I want to write, but I just can’t seem to bring myself to do it. I have no energy, and I lack motivation, and I hate this feeling. I will snap out of it; it’s just taking a long time.

I am behind on most of your blog posts, but I do hope to catch up, or at the very least, start actively reading them again. I’ve just needed a bit of a break from everything, but now I find myself missing my creative writing. I have new ideas as well, but I’ll save those for another post.

Spring is almost here! In the meantime, I’ll keep feeling my feelings and bleed until I heal.

I hope all of you are well and I wish you the best week ahead!

Love and life lessons,

Kristian

Posted in Personal, This Is Me | Tagged , , , , | 41 Comments

Wrapped Up in You

sometimes i sit at this window

and stare at this tree

and think of the life it might have known –

the nurturing of a man’s hands

who planted its seed

and cared for it.

its roots growing

and wrapping

and grasping

much like us –

who grow the same

from nourishment.


i think of the branches

that once held tire swings

and childrens laughter

i think of the couples

who sat beneath its shade

unsure if the heat

was from their passion

or the sun.

perhaps it is why

i am drawn to trees –

they’re mysterious.

ever changing

and letting go

and beginning again.

only to draw sustenance

from the rain and snow

and provide air

and shadows for children

and adults to play under.

all I know

is like this tree –

am i.

roots twisted

firmly grasped

and wrapped up in you.

Posted in Favorites, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 43 Comments

An Ode To The Greats

take my hand
and fly away with me
to faraway lands where water flows
of peace and ecstasy

where we are free to be ourselves
just simply you and me
we can climb the highest mountains
and swim the vastest sea

let’s go camping in Frost’s woods
and count Mary Oliver’s geese
share a Shakespeare’s kiss, under stars
all limbs and mouth until we find our sweet release

spend a few weeks in the beast’s library
“We would be together and have our books,”
while drinking Hemingway’s whiskey
inhaling the aroma, while Chef Bouche cooks

take a hike to the Carpathian Mountains
make love like vampires for the night
sharing passions, and secrets, and fantasies
until the dawning of a new light

let’s meet beneath the willow tree
on the grounds of Wuthering Heights
when the reality beast wins a round
and we need a break from its bites

Posted in Favorites, Personal, Poetry | 8 Comments

Soon, it will be Warm Enough to Open Windows

bless the men with wounds so deep

they bleed from the spears in their sides,

driven in their ribs by their own hands,

carved from the voices, the ghosts, the darkness.

bless the women just the same.


bless mother nature as she shakes her snow globe –

furiously kissing everything she touches

with her shimmering flakes.

bless the hearts that ache for the sun

and age with each new fallen

blanket of white.


bless the sadness that falls like rain

down hills of fleshy cheeks,

and bless the hours upon hours

of uninterrupted television watching.


bless the foolish dances to the Fabulous Four

socks sliding across linoleum, kitchen floors.

bless the appreciation of the moment

of being.


bless the friends who show up

who create traditions, a way of saying –

“I’ll always show up.”

“I’ll always be here.”

“Come to me just as you are.”

and bless me for believing them,

that I am enough, just as I am.

bless my love for you

which knows no bounds.


bless the mind that wanders

to fantastical places –

the Himalayan Mountains

with the man who makes me love myself

when I am with him.

bless the man for it –

for who he is, as he is now.

bless the demons that burrow inside of him,

the ones he fights daily, refusing to stop.

bless him. bless him. bless him!


bless the characters created

and bless the escape into their love

and the journey of finding it.

the starting friendship,

shared laughter

and shared morning breakfasts.

late night conversations

the screen light reflecting in their glasses.

the want dripping between them

so hot

I can feel their flames.


bless the feelings of heat

of the ink that pours out of me –

waterfalls of passion

and want

and desire

and need

bleeding out like spread sheets

drenched in sweat

bodies entagled

as love and passion

escapes from my pen,

bleeds into their souls,

piercing mine.


bless the vice that eases

the woman’s aching stomach,

hips and back,

every twenty-eight

to thirty-one days.

bless the emotional roller coaster ride –

crying at St. Jude commercials.

laughing at the roadrunner

who outsmarts the coyote,

for the hundredth time.


bless Justin Long for his performances;

Zerk and Junior never fail

to make me laugh.

bless the laughter that pours out –

rainbows of giggles

and

thunderstorms of cackles.


bless the souls that refuse to stop feeling –

the pain, taking it and twisting it

time and time again

until it becomes easier to inhale,

becomes easier to exhale.

until the sting becomes a bite.


bless the heart that helps the soul to heal,

refusing to cause the same pain

that was inflicted.

hearts that free the wolf that lives inside

to feed it until it sleeps.

bless the balance, the yin, and the yang –

mountains of hope,

oceans of pain.

bless the growing, and learning

and knowing of self.


bless the herb that awakens

all that’s within –

the mind,

the tastebuds,

the sound waves,

the skin.

bless the mouths that speak out

for what is right

and not what is popular –

those with millions of eyes which follow

and those whom nobody knows.


bless the comforts of familiar old friends –

movies that carry us back in time,

songs that bring back images of moments

that squeeze our hearts,

and books that pour out the writers art

through our eyes.

bless everything under the sun

that helps mend the seams

when they start to come undone.

bless the acceptance of all that is now

and embracing what comes

as best we know how.

Posted in Poetry | 115 Comments

Kiss The Girl

She watched as he ran the sandpaper following along the grain of the wood. Kevin’s strong hand glided across the oak beneath it, the wood softening with each stroke. She couldn’t help but notice the muscles in his biceps bulging, and she crossed one leg over the other as she felt her temperature rise. She cleared her throat, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear.


He turned his head to look at her. He flashed her that sly, lopsided grin she didn’t realize she had loved so much until that moment. As their eyes met, she held his gaze, and she found herself wanting him to kiss her. She wondered if he could read the want plastered on her face.


He stood, never releasing his gaze from hers. He moved slowly towards her. He gently placed a finger under her chin and lifted her head to look at him.
“Please tell me you feel this?” He pleaded.
“I feel it,” she confessed breathlessly.
He placed his hands on each side of her face, gazing into her eyes. “I’m dying to kiss you.” He whispered, his lips lingering, inches from hers.
“What are you waiting for?” She asked playfully.


He moved ever so slowly towards her, driving her crazy, and she let out an impatient sigh.
He chuckled lowly as he moved, he stopped as soon as her breasts were touching him, at the top of his abdomen. He slid his thumbs along each side of her jaw before allowing them to caress down her petite neck slowly.


Her eyes darkened with desire, and she couldn’t help the moan that escaped past her lips as his fingers softly glided across her collarbone, his hot breath following his fingertips. He locked eyes with her, placing his arms around her waist.
He leaned in as he titled his head, “Jessica?”
She gave him a confused look.


He whistled to grab her attention, breaking her from her daydream. Her entire body jerked.
He laughed, “I didn’t mean to scare you,” he paused, “You were spacing on me.”
“Oh,” she couldn’t hide the disappointment in her tone.
“What were you thinking about?” He asked her.
“Oh, nothing, really.” She returned his sly, lopsided grin.

Posted in Ficton, Personal | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

My New Year’s Wish

I awoke this morning like I do every morning, with sleep in my eyes and a dream in my heart, needing coffee to come alive.


I found myself staring out the window at the white, velvet, snow blanketing the ground and tree limbs, and I thought of Frost, wondering if he felt the same way I was feeling, watching the newly fallen snow, crisp, clean, and sparkling.

I could comprehend why he wrote “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Did he have the same sleepy smile that graced my face? Was his heart also flooding with unfulfilled dreams, and love as deep as the woods he described?

“What a wonderful way to spend the last day of this dreadful year,” I thought. “Watching the new snow fall on the old, not quite as white, but still pretty.”


My mind wandered to my aunt, cousin, and the mother of my sister-in-law, all battling cancer. Wondering how many years they might have, how many more miles until they sleep?

I took the time to think of family and friends, and you, the person reading this.
I hope this new year brings new dreams to look forward to, laughter that leaves your eyes watering and stomach aching, and love, as deep and magical as the woods Frost described, and I hope you take the time to stop by them on a snowy evening.


Happy New Year!


Love & life lessons,
Kristian

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , , , , | 38 Comments

Merry Christmas

it is nothing short of a dream
to sit by my christmas tree
cup of coffee in hand
staring out the window
fascinated by the blanketing silence
as mother nature shakes her snow globe
and its ability to slow time
my mind wanders
to the mean old man across the street
and i find myself hoping
his feet are warm
as mine are not
perhaps it’s the christmas spirit
or the spirit of my mother
on the anniversary of her last breath
reminding me
even the coldest souls
deserve to be warm
and as i allow my eyes
to roam
the picture perfect post-card
of trees
and white
and swirls of gray smoke
from old brick chimney’s
i can’t help but smile
for this must be the feeling
the soul felt
when it first uttered
“Merry Christmas.”

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments