Starting Lesson 2 -- Voice & Point of View

Here's what you should learn this lesson:
  • Voice can be seen in two ways: the voice of characters, and the voice of the author.  Both concepts carry their own sense of importance.
  • Point of view is really the vocal footprint of the speaker in your writing.  It answers this question: from where does this voice come?  Point of view is seen in three ways: First person, utilizing the "I" speaker, Second person bring in an imagined "you", and finally Third person, a remote speaker that repors from the perspective of certain players.
This topic definitely helps me with my blog.  Everyone needs their on voice and I'm working on finding mine.

Lesson Objectives
By the end of this lesson you should be able to:
  • Demonstrate honest, genuine, precise writing about your life.
  • Determine first, second and third person points of view.
  • Depict past and present tense.
  • Discuss the notion of "voice" as it relates to characters and the author.
First and third person are pretty easy for me to do.  Once I try writing in the second person I seem to forget how to write.  The tenses are easy too, when I pay attention.  If I just start writing then I tend to switch from past to present.  I'm trying to get better at catching it.


1. Creative Writing Assignment ~ Topic: Point of View (50 points - 750 words).  Start with this single fact: A dog has been hit by a car.  Now write about the incident from three different perspectives: first, second, and third person.  What's important in each exercise is to stick with the assigned point of view.  Each exapmple will be about one page of writing in standard format.

a. 250 words in first person - Start with: "I saw..."
b. 250 words in second person - Start with: "You won't believe..."
c. 250 words in third person - Start with: "The dog..."

Once my assignment is graded I will post my stories along with my grade I get.  Until then, you must wait!



Well, I today I watched the movie Precious; which is based off a novel called Push by Sapphire.  I have not read Push, but I am thinking about it.

I'm not sure if any of you have seen this, but this poor girl is treated awful by everyone around her. Her mother, father, people at school, people on the street.  It really seems as if she has nowhere to turn and I feel awful for her; my heart went out to her.  Do you ever feel that way while watching a movie?  I know I do.  (I felt the same way for Michael Oher (Big Mike) in The Blind Side; which I also watched today.  Great movie, watch it!)

I absolutely could not understand the way Precious's mother treated her!  The things she yelled were just awful!  She threw things at her; glass jars, swung a pan at her head, a flower pot at her back and even tried dropping a television on her and her newborn babys head!

I should have gotten an abortion.  You're worthless.  I knew right when the doctor handed you to me that you were worthless.  You're fat.  You're so fucking stupid. 

Her mother even said something along the lines of: You fucked my man and had kids with him, how dare you!  The man that Precious so called fucked was her own father.  Her flesh and blood.  The man raped her.  And he had been since she was three years old.  Her mother knew all along and did nothing to stop it.  I don't understand how something goes on like that and you do nothing!

Her mother didn't care about her going to school to get an education.  All she wanted her for was her welfare check.  Precious's mother used her own mother and granddaughter as a reason to get more money from welfare.

This sounds like something to should be added into Busted Kate's categoy of "And Yet THESE People Can Procreate".  I will never be like this woman. EVER.


"Wordless" Wednesday

It's become an obsession... already.

My weakness is baby girl clothes. Can you tell?

Found some really great Target deals.

I adore the Grease onesie.

You don't even want to know what I bought at JCPenney's on Sunday.  I found an amazing deal -- 75% off!  How could I pass that up?!


My School Journal

Everytime I think of a journal, I think of the awful ones that I kept as a little girl.  You know what I mean, right?  The one that was filled with a bunch of useless unimportant information.  Yeah, that's what I think about.  I never knew what to write about, so it was a bunch of "Dear Journal/Diary, How are you?"  Yes, I asked "how are you?" to an inanimate object.  Loser.

This one though, is different.  And the great thing is, my workbook gave me a list of things to write about when I get stuck!  Awesome, right?

Write any sort of thing in your journal, and write various kinds of things:

  • An observation
  • An overheard conversation
  • Lists
  • Longings
  • Your response to a piece of music
  • A rough draft of a letter
  • Names of characters
  • Quotations from what you are reading
  • The piece of your mind you'd like to give so-and-so
  • An idea for a story
  • A memory
  • A dream
  • A few lines of a poem
  • A fantasy conversation
  • Titles of things you are never going to write
  • Something else
These are great pointers for me when I'm stumped.

It's so simple, and it has a built in bookmark!

Make a habit, rather than a chore, of writing in your journal.  This is exactly how I view my blog.  I don't want to view it as something I have to do, just something that I want to do.  My text book suggests that I write in my journal once a day, but that's been a difficult task for me.  Even though I carry it in my purse with me, I never have time to just stop and write something in it.  I need to make time.

Two of my new goals, for always.


Lesson 1 -- My Stories (Lengthy)

I know Holly from Ready To Be A Mom  requested to see my stories.  Be nice! :)

Grade: 49/50

a. retell an incident from childhood

It was a perfect day in Phoenix. It wasn’t summer yet, which is a good thing if you ask anyone from Phoenix. It was this beautiful day that I took my first trip to Urgent Care – well, at least the first one that I can remember.

I was around four years old at the time and I was playing around on the back porch with our two dogs, Barney, an adorable yellow Labrador retriever and Alexi, a sweet black and white collie mix. The porch was also my father’s work space for the cars and all his tools. There was cover over the patio where my father hung up some of his larger tools. The porch was looking dirty, so I decided to sweep with a broom about twice my size. This ended up being terrible idea.

As I was sweeping there was dirt flying up everywhere. I could taste it with every breath I took. I could hardly see though it. I didn’t notice how close I was getting to the edge of the roof. One second I was sweeping and the next I remember screaming and blood dripping from my face onto the concrete. Barney was standing next to me licking up every drop that fell. A set of vice grip pliers fell on my head, I learned. My parents ran outside to see what happened. Once they saw they told my brother to go grab some towels to put on my head and rushed me out to the car. Everything after this is fuzzy, but I remember being rushed into Urgent Care and having to get stitches. These stitches were my battle wounds that I shared with all my friends at daycare.

b. tell the story of how you got your name (took advantage of fictionalizing, by adding onto the story, my name was picked out of a romance novel)

My mother has always been a reader. For as long as I can remember she’s always had a book in her hands. So it’s natural that’s where she found my name.

When you’re a child you’re naturally inquisitive. I always asked my mother a bunch of questions. I remember asking her, how did you come up with my name? It was a simple answer; I found it in a book I was reading at the time of my pregnancy. That answer wasn’t good enough for me; so I pushed further asking more questions. What book was it? Where were you when you were reading it? Why did my name stand out? Overwhelmed, she told me she had to think about all those questions. She said, give me a day and I will answer all the questions you have about your name.

My mother came to me the next day, sat me down and said ask away. I started with the easiest, what book were you reading when you found my name? She said it was a romance novel titled Along Came Love by Jackie Lavoie. Next question, where were you when you were reading it? She said, I was just at home, lying in bed, relaxing. I was getting farther along in my pregnancy, so it was getting a little uncomfortable to do anything. I finally got to my last question, why did my name stand out? Her answer, I thought Kaitlin was the most beautiful and unique name I have ever heard.

c. your choice – exploring your relationship with a machine

The relationship between laptop and owner is decided at first by sight, love at first sight, at least for me anyways. When I went to Best Buy to pick out a laptop, I knew right away that I wanted you. Your sleek look drew me in first, with your silver edges and black top with silver polka dots. The polka dots are adorable, yet grown up enough that I could get away with it. The ten key was another check in the column of must have’s. Once I found you, I couldn’t picture using any another laptop. You soon became my friend and my companion. You joined me in all my daily activities; checking my email, writing in my blog and doing my school work. I even started to share everything with you; pictures, music, emails, documents and so much more. When you crashed for the first time I thought it was the end of the world. But when you run start to run smoothly again it’s as if the world has been corrected. I can see myself in the mouse pad. Your buttons are smooth, and sometimes even squeak as I type. Your screen is bright and allows me to see a reflection of myself and objects around me. The quiet hum of your hard drive soothes me after a busy day at work. I would have to say the relationship with my laptop runs thick as blood. The relationship I have with my laptop is comparable to the relationship an alcoholic would have with a case of beer.  (Yes, Honey B., I did steal this from you.)
Teacher comments:
Good work on showing us the descriptions in the scenes. It's interesting that you used second person in the last one. Nothing wrong with that; but toward the end you slip back into first. So just watch POV (point of view) shifts. Great job on your formatting and grammar!

Honestly, I didn't even know I changed my point of view in my last story.  I really need to stay aware of this.


1.Creative Writing Assignment ~ Topic: Introductions (50 points – 750 words). The requirement this week is to create three writings that total 750 words. Here are the topics of each writing:

a. Retell an incident from childhood (250 words)  When I was around 4, I was sweeping the backporch of our house.  The broom I was using knocked some vice grip pliers off the roof, which then fell on me and cut my forehead right down to the skull.

b. Tell the story of how you got your name. Feel free to fictionalize if it makes the story better (250 words) My mom found my name in a book she was reading, it's that simple.  I had to fictionalize, a lot.

c. Your Choice – (250 words) pick any of the exercises in this chapter or choose an idea of your own. I ended up picking: Write a paragraph or poem exploring your relationship with a machine.  Describe the machine using at least three of the senses.  Needless to say, I wrote about the amazing relationship I have with my laptop.
On Saturday I turned in my first Creative Writing Assignment.  This assignment stressed me out SO much.  Even though it was so simple.  I forgot how easily stressed I get when I'm in school and this is only one class, I can't imagine how I'd do with more.

"Shitty First Drafts" by Anne Lamott was one of my assigned readings.  I found it pretty interesting, so I thought I would share.
So, I decided to look for my teacher on Twitter and I found her.  If you want to, check her out.  She also has her own website.  She's an author as well, for young adults.

Wordless Wednesday

From our drive on Monday.

Hubs overlooking the city.

One more because I love it!

Snow in the streets of Flagstaff.

I Want To Be A Creative Writer

Last week I got a sudden urge to take a writing class of some sort.  So I talked it over with Hubs and his response was; "I think it's a great idea.  If you'll actually do it."  I have a bad habit of signing up for a class or deciding to take a class and not going through with it, so I know where he was coming from.  I told him that I wanted to do it to help my blogging.  "I figured as much.  I don't care what you do as long as you do it.  I'll support you."  I know he supports me, but it's a great thing to hear.

So Friday I searched all of my local communitity colleges to see which ones had an open creative writing course.  There was only one school that had any openings for CRW150 (Introduction to Creative Writing), Rio Salado College.  To me, Rio Salado has never seemed like a real school to me.  But I decided to give it a chance, because I really wanted to take this writing class.  Once I found the class on RSC, I decided to go for it and sign up.

I'm want to blog about the different lessons I do for this class as I go through it (hopefully).  I think that's going to make it easier and more fun for me.  And I'll definitely get to see how I progress throughout the class.  Hopefully you enjoy it too!

Yesterday I printed out my syllabus and first lesson (Creative Writing and the Imagination).  I wanted to share a few things that I liked from my syllabus.

Hints for Success:
First, enjoy your creativity.
Second, give yourself enough time to do that.

Remember: Writing takes time.  You can't rush it.  Some of that time is spent staring out a window.  Then there's drafting, and more staring.  Lots of thinking and self exploration goes into it.


I Must Get This Off My Chest

I'm throwing a pity party for one!

I had a mini breakdown last night.  These thoughts have been bouncing around in my head for the last week or two, but last night they finally just got to me.

A somewhat close friend of mine (she's also a coworker, and she also reads my blog occasionally) is going to start trying to conceive (TTC) soon.  And by soon I mean next month.  That freaks me out... I don't know if that's the words I want to use, but that's what comes to mind right now.  She already has one little boy (he turns a year old on February 2nd) and he was an accident.  I just feel like she's going to get pregnant before me.  I think things are going to be so simple for her, since she didn't even have to try the first time around. 

I'm throwing a pity party in my head and feeling awful about it.  I want her to be able to get pregnant and have another baby.  But we started six months ago and I'm not pregnant yet.  It's not a competition or anything.  I just want it to be my chance, my time to get pregnant.

She brings up the topic of babies all the time and sometimes I just don't want to talk about it.  It's just one of the constant things going on in my brain, so I don't want to talk about it all the time too.  I don't know how much that makes sense, but to me it does.  It's just tough, I know I haven't been trying very long, but as months keep passing the more I realize I want a baby.  I just wonder when it's going to be my turn.


The dinner that took Hubs and I (almost) all day.

Hubs cooked the ribs and I did everything else.

Even the dogs got to enjoy it.


Everyone Just Needs To Take A Day Off

I'm a strong believer in the fact that every now and then everyone needs a day off.  For no reason other then to relax.  Give yourself a break from the daily grind.  That's exactly what we did today.

We slept in until 9:30 then got up and showered.  Afterwards we decided to go to the Cox Communications store to pick up a new remote control (ours has been acting up for a few weeks).  On the way home we stopped off at Albertson's for a few items.  Hubs saw that ribs were pretty inexpensive, so we picked some up to make for dinner.

Once we got home we both had the energy to actually clean and cook.  We're usually tired and ready to relax once we get home from work.  But I was able to vacuum and finally take down the Christmas decorations (finally!).  I set up our new kitchen table, which I love!  It's just so simple, and the perfect size for us.

I was also able to set out a sign that my brother and sister-in-law bought us for Christmas and clean up all the papers, books and boxes for moving that we taking over our sofa table.  We were starting to look like the beginning stages of a hoarder.  And nobody wants that!

The sign says says: "Shafer" and under that "Established in 2009".

The Hubs spent all afternoon boiling and cooking the ribs we bought from Albertson's.  He even made his own BBQ sauce.  He put his heart into those!  (You'll get to see our dinner in my Wordless Wednesday post tomorrow).  He also emptied the trash, and there was a lot of it.  I've been cleaning out the house and getting rid of stuff we just don't need. 

Once all the cooking and cleaning was finished we were able to sit down, relax and just enjoy eachothers company.  This is the highlight of my day.  I think everyone deserves to take a day off and just relax.


Blog Award!

Many thanks to Honey at The Honey B. Blog!

The Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award
2. Copy the award & place it on my blog
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award
4. Share 7 interesting things about myself
5. Nominate 7 bloggers

The 7 Interesting Things About Myself:

1. I am obsessed with trashy reality television.

2. I have a bunch (approximately nineteen) of tattoos and I used to have a lot of piercings, but now I only have one in each ear.

3. I could probably eat Sonic everyday.  I think it's that good.

4. I'm a bookworm.  If I could stay home and read all day, I would.

5. My Hubs and I went on our first date on July 7th of '07, then moved in together in September of '07 (less than 3 months later), then bought a house together in September of '08. Hubs asked me to marry him January 19th of '09 then we finally tied the knot on April 7th of '09.

6. I always have to wear an undershirt and a belt.  If not, I feel like something is missing.

7. I would much rather perfer to wear one of Hubs t-shirts than one of my own.  Men get to wear the most comfortable clothes! It makes me jealous.

(I'm not that interesting, hahah.)

The 7 Nominated Bloggers:

1. Natalie at Hope Springs Eternal

2. Kellie at Kelleidoscope

3. Busted Kate at Busted Plumbing

4. Jen at After the Alter

5. Jenn at The Road to Happily Ever After

6. Courtney at The Peeks

7. Courtney at The Secondary Chronicles


When The Mothers Found Out: Part 1: My MIL

I know my mom would be upset to know that my mother-in-law found out first, but it wasn't on purpose.  Believe me! We've been keeping it a secret because it's our business and haven't wanted to be bugged constantly with questions. You are probably wondering what I'm talking about.  Well, it's BIRTH CONTROL.  Surprise, surprise.

Let me tell you the story...

We were at my in-laws house on the 14th of December baking Christmas cookies with the family.  Their next door neighbor came over with her newborn baby about halfway into the evening.  When she got there my MIL raced over to the baby and grabbed her from the neighbor.  Then she proceeded to show the baby off to everyone in the room.  My Hubs and I started joking around and saying, "You look comfortable over there, Grandma."

Eventually the topic of me being off the pill came up.  She asked me across the room if I was still taking birth control.  And I just couldn't hide the answer on my face.  I know I turned bright red and Hubs wasn't there to back me up.  As soon as she saw my face though she just KNEW it.  All she said was, "ohhhh you're not!"  The tone of her voice seemed almost worried.

But on Christmas day we were at their house exchanging gifts and my MIL looks at me and says, "I have something to give you, but I'm not sure if you're going to get offended."  So obviously once she said that I had to know what she was talking about.  She took me into the garage and told me she had an extra pregnancy test that she wanted to give me.  Of course I wasn't going to complain about a free pregnancy test.

(You man be wondering why she had a spare test.  She was having some issues a few months ago about her intestines and her friends thought she might be pregnant.  So they made her test and it came out negative.)

So in the span of a week she obviously became okay with the idea of me being off the pill.  So okay that she gave me a pregnancy test.


It's insane.  In three short months Hubs and I will have been married a year, already.  It feels like last week we were standing on the beach saying our "I do's".  We've definitely made some big decisions the last nine months.

We have had our fair share of ups and downs the past nine months.  We got married, duh.  We threw out the pill.  Our house was broken into a second time in our house.  We've made the decision to move out of the first house we bought together.  Both of our mothers found out I'm off the pill.  There have been small arguements.  There's definitely been crying.

Through everything, ups and down and the inbetweens, I know more then anything that he's the man I want to spend the rest of my life with (duh, I married him) and the man I want to have my children with (yeah, we already covered that I'm off the pill).  He's a great man and he works hard to support us and I appreciate everything he does.


A Forgotten New Year's Resolution

I forgot, perhaps, one of my best resolutions.  My goal is to get better at blogging.  I've already grown quite a bit from when I started, but there's always room to grow. :)

So far I've been good with my resolutions. (Yes, I know it's only the 4th.) This year I might have the willpower to stick to 'em. Good luck to everyone with their New Year's Resolutions!


I Should Make Some of These -- NY Resolutions

Most of this layout has been "borrowed" from Honey at The Honey B. Blog.

Like almost everyone else in the world, I set New Year's resolutions and never keep them.  This year though, is a different story [I'm hoping].  There are a few items on my list that I'd really like to achieve this year.  Such as, cutting fast food and [most] caffeine.

Losing Weight!  That's definitely the first thing on my list this year.  Since meeting Hubs I've been very careless with the way I've treated my body.  I don't pay much attention to what I'm putting in it.  And I never do anything to keep those calories from turning into fat on my body.  What am I talking about?  It hasn't been since I've met Hubs.  I've always been this way.
  • I purchased The Biggest Loser: The Workout - Weight Loss Yoga as an aid to help me lose the weight.  My goal is to do one of the DVD workouts at least 3 times a week.
  • Honey from The Honey B. Blog and I have been talking about a diet that's really worked for her.  So I decided to give it a try it out this year to see how it works for me.  I know it's not about a diet, then it is a lifestyle change.  But there were no major lifestyle changes for me this year like I had planned.  So, I want to try this out as a kickstart to my new lifestyle change.  My goal is to stick to this until I get off the weight I want to lose, then maintain.

Cutting the Caffeine and Fast Food!  My caffeine and fast food intake has been crazy my entire life.  I've never had someone there telling me not to drink soda or telling me to watch what I eat, so I've had whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  So every morning I've had some coffee or a Dr Pepper to wake me up, rather then just letting my body wake itself up.  I know going cold turkey is not the best option.  The migraines I get are insane and I just got right back to it anyways.  My goal is to cut back to at least 200 mg a day and to stop eating fast food.

Charting My Temps!  I recently purchased a basal body thermometer from Fairhaven Health so I could start charting my temps.  I also have The Fertility Journal to write all my info down in throughout my cycle.  I'm not sure how charting it going to go for me because in the morning the first thing I like to do when I get up is go to the bathroom and potty, so it's going to be an adjustment.  I'm thinking about setting my alarm for 5 minutes early to get the temping in early.  My goal is to start temping every morning.

Getting Pregnant!  This is my ultimate goal this year.  I realize I'm still young, but I started feeling the need to be a mommy.  I know most of my friends cringe at the idea of having a baby right now.  For me, it feels right.  My goal is to get pregnant this year.

Well there you have it.  What are your New Year's resolutions?


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