Featured

Not My Feeling (a poem)

Yesterday.
Today.
Tomorrow Never Knows.
True.
I have a pretty good idea.
About the next day.
The day after too.

Time is endless.
In the void.
A colorless, gray place.
Not my scene.
Not my feeling.
Yet.
Here I am.

We all take turns here.
And it was mine.

There will come a shard of light.
A path made clear.

A passion felt.
I will move forward, in time.

Not My Feeling (a poem) by
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com

Featured

Get to the Point, Book Reviews: Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Book Review Rules

The book may (or may not) work for me personally but that’s not to say it didn’t do wonders for (or fail) someone else.

writers

Writers & Lovers: A Novel by Lily King
Would I recommend?
Yes. 100%.

Favorite Quotes

“‘So,’ he says, unwilling to let me get too far away. ‘How’s the novel?’ He says it like I made the word up myself.”

“‘You know,’ he says, pushing himself off his car, waiting for my full attention. ‘I just find it extraordinary that you think you have something to say.’

“I squat there and think about how you get trained early on as a woman to perceive how others are perceiving you, at the great expense of what you yourself are feeling about them.”

“Now I understand it’s how boys are raised to think, how they are lured into adulthood. I’ve met ambitious women, driven women, but no woman has ever told me that greatness was her destiny.”

“There’s a particular feeling in your body when something goes right after a long time of things going wrong. It feels warm and sweet and loose.”

“‘All problems with writing and performing come from fear. Fear of exposure, fear of weakness, fear of lack of talent, fear of looking like a fool for trying, for even thinking you could write in the first place. It’s all fear. If we didn’t have fear, imagine the creativity in the world. Fear holds us back every step of the way.'”

The Goods

The struggle to write, to be a writer, is accurately captured in Writers & Lovers. The dedication. The doubt. The discipline. Equally important, the accurate representation of time. Our MC, Casey, works on her novel upwards of six years before finalizing it. This is not a main point of the novel, it is simply the realistic depiction of time that I appreciate. Personally, I think it’s odd how many people (writers and non-writers alike) seem to think a novel is produced in a year or less. The time it takes to develop a novel varies per author, true, but there is, in my opinion, this pervasive misconception that novels are regularly written in less than a year, I hear six months…a lot. Excuse my totally unfounded opinion but I do believe the wildly popular NaNoWriMo annual writing event has something to do with this widespread and recent misconception. Taking place in the 90s, Writers & Lovers perfectly demonstrates how a novel becomes a foundation for an author’s way of life, spanning years.

[By the way, people ask me every year – every year – if I’m going to take the ‘NaNoWriMo challenge!!! Omg, hashtag NaNoWriMo!!!No. I take the writer-for-life challenge. My novel is going into it’s third year if you were wondering.]

As a whole, the reality presented in Writers & Lovers is a breath of fresh air. It’s very common in fiction to see writers presented as eccentric, romantic, disconnected, intelligent or unrealistic when in fact, every writer I’ve ever met is down to earth and full of self-loathing for having a passion that has little practical value. But that’s passion. Passion begs the ultimate question, how much of yourself are you willing to put into this thing? This is why so many let their passions die on the vine, they aren’t willing to pursue that which has no guarantee of success yet proves fulfilling (you have to be willing to try to find out). That’s life. That’s passion. That’s writing.

In this respect, Casey is perfectly written. She’s in debt and works around the clock as a waitress to make ends meet. Casey can barely provide for herself and yet Casey does all that she does just so she can have a few hours to write everyday. That’s the reality. The real life of a dedicated writer is not romantic at all, nor eccentric. Writing is not a terribly fun way of life. Writing is a passion, true, but writing, like any creative pursuit, is also an expensive habit you have to support, like a drug. Until you are established as an author you are not paid for the work.

I think this is why people often view writers as eccentric. To put all that work and effort into something that does not immediately pay. The very definition of insanity, am I right? All the more reason that I appreciate the realness of circumstance in Writers & Lovers.

The Lovers part of Writers & Lovers is also well written and is an excellent reminder of why I don’t date artists. The love interests were real and exhausting. Many artists use their art as a natural focal point of their feelings, not just their passion for the medium in question. Trying to combine the murky waters of two writers and hoping they find some clarity in each other’s artistic pools are slim. I see the clash of feelings and creative egos in Writers & Lovers and I am humored but also freshly reminded of my no-artists vow. Unless you’re the muse (it can be intoxicating I know) don’t date a writer or a poet. For your sanity, just don’t.

The pacing was excellent. I read Writers & Lovers in a couple of days but it was easy for me as I strongly identified with the main character. Reading Casey’s ending was an injection of hope all while being able to connect from a real and downtrodden present too. Refreshing in its own right. From an outside perspective, I could see where readers would lose patience with the story. All that self-imposed tension and crippling doubt. The years of struggle and strife. Depriving yourself of a great deal to live life on your terms. Turning down anything and everything that gets in the way. All that realness wouldn’t make for a very popular hashtag, but, and if for no one else, Writers & Lovers will connect with its intended audience, writers.

“I don’t write because I think I have something to say. I write because if I don’t, everything feels even worse.” – Writers & Lovers

The Not So Good

Nah.

From Amazon

An extraordinary new novel of art, love, and ambition from Lily King, the New York Times bestselling author of Euphoria

Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with another instant New York Times bestseller: an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.

Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Writers & Lovers follows Casey—a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist—in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.


Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com

Featured

Fingers (an erotic poem)

*This poem contains erotic subject matter.

Twin nevi on my neck
Connect the dots, draw the line
Continue on to that most dramatic bone

Dip into that velvet hollow
I rejoice in a fingered clavicle

Skilled, warm fingers (such as I adore)
I’ve ‘nother silken hollow
You’ve determined to explore

My sigh is your name, hallowed it be
The slick quickens as friction accelerates
Inside me

Coaxing my vocals to pitch and linger
His power demonstrated
By a couple of fingers

Fingers (an erotic poem)
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com

Please Know…

Hello All,

I am in a place of balancing my correspondence. Many of you will have noted my comments are not as frequent nor as thoughtful (the latter is a note-to-self perspective). Some of you are aware that I am a full-time YouTuber as well as writer and poet. My YouTube channel is time consuming (in a good way) and is growing. My client work is up and my general correspondence has increased.

Please know I may not get to the breadth and depth of your beautiful, wonderful thoughts here on WordPress (you know who are) but please know I read every single comment and your thoughts touch me. Truly. Sometimes I have a moment to hit “like” but I promise your thoughts about my work, and my general nonsense (there’s a lot of it, I’ll be honest), really do stay with me.

Emails are going to get to me faster and I can better provide you my attention. I’ve no doubt I will improve the balance of my social media commentary but for now just know that my comments may not be as frequent as I would like them to be.

Writing/Blog stuff: christinarschmidt@gmail.com

Tarot stuff: sassyscorpiontarot@gmail.com

Your support and your thoughts are everything.

I can’t wait for the next vlog Q&A. Those are so fun and provide a nice break from the norm. The last Q&A was a blog, also fun to do but I enjoy the video format. Apparently, how I express myself is of great entertainment to some of you😆 😉

Love,
Christina

Literary Artists Tarot (June 2020)

[Pre-Script: I know I’m behind on Book of the Month…I know! It’s a comin’ I promise!]

Greetings Fellow Writers & Poets!

It’s that time for another Literary Artists Tarot (LAT), a tarot reading special just for my fellow writers and poets (artists in general, so one hopes).

These speciality readings will have limited appeal but I’m happy to do it for those who might like a little more insight (or just some fun ideas) regarding their literary projects.

Like last time, LAT is a 2-part reading. Part I is the base reading using The Literary Witches Oracle followed by Part II, a creative transformation reading for all 12 signs using the David Bowie inspired, Starman Tarot.

Cheers,
Christina “Sassy Scorpion

Please consider liking and subscribing to Sassy Scorpion Tarot. As you contribute your energies to my work, my work will better reflect your energies. 

TIMESTAMPS
Into 0:00
Base/Author Reading 2:30
Elements to Include 5:03
Sagittarius 9:55
Pisces 13:02
Gemini 17:00
Virgo 19:52
Aries 23:11
Cancer 25:25
Libra 30:23
Capricorn 34:58
Leo 37:58
Aquarius 41:25
Taurus 44:41
Scorpio 49:21

Writer’s Lift Wednesday #15

This is a writersliftwednesday blog, sharing the works of fellow writers, poets and persons random. All re-blogs will be linked appropriately to their authors.

Writing is no easy calling and nothing easy was ever worth doing.

I found a lot of advice articles useful for writing and blogging. I was humored by the first article as it listed my number one character flaw cliche: clumsy, more so to describe a cute but bumbling adolescent girl.

I appreciate and agree with Hugh Roberts (2.). It is worth your effort to create an “About Me” or “About” page. I go to find more author/blogger info all the time and the information is just not there. You are your own advocate. Take a minute to create or update your About section, please.

Support each other. Share and reshare.

Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com


1. 5 Fake Character Flaws to Avoid by Sara Kopeczky via A Writer’s Path

You know this one: in order to come up with relatable characters for your story, you have to give them some flaws. Flaws make characters human, and the fact is that humans are far from being perfect. That being said, in recent fiction I have seen so much of what I call “fake flaws”, because they are not actually flaws: instead of adding depth to the character, they only add to their charming personality (boring).

This happens when the writer falls in love with his/her creation, instead of worrying about the readers who will start yawning at the endless descriptions of how perfect the character is. Anyhow, here are my top 5 most common fake character flaws that I’ve noticed in recent fiction:

Being clumsy: This particularly refers to girls. When you have a young female protagonist, and want people to like her and relate to her, especially if you are writing YA fiction, you cannot go wrong with giving your character a tiny little flaw of being really clumsy. Make sure she trips over things several times during the story. Seriously? They couldn’t come up with anything better? I doubt it.

Being nerdy: In bad writing, being into technology and/or science fiction makes you an overly intellectual person a.k.a. a nerd who is unable to hold a conversation with people. In real life, people are rarely that simple. If the biggest flaw a character has is rambling too much about tech stuff or just watching a particular TV show, it is still a flat character.

read the full article here

2. Why Every Blogger Should Have An About Me Page On Their Blog by Hugh W. Roberts via Hugh’s Views and News

Simply put, it’s a page where the owner of a blog gives some details about themselves and their blog. If done correctly, the ‘About me‘ page can be one of the main vehicles for building trust and connecting with your audience.

Take a look at the image below. It shows the stats (as on 24th May, 2020) of the most viewed articles on my blog. I’ve highlighted my ‘About me’ page.

read the full article here, also includes screenshots

3. Why Writers Should Read Crap by Larry Kahaner via A Writer’s Path

All writers get the same advice. Read the great writers; study the great works. Learn how seasoned, professional, and successful authors get the job done. All true, but I maintain that it’s also crucial for writers to read crap to learn what not to do.

How do you know what’s crap? It’s not a book that didn’t sell well, although that sometimes may be a clue. It’s not one that received bad reviews either. Some of the world’s greatest books have garnered negative comments from critics. Crappy writing is like the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on what constitutes pornography. You know it when you see it. And you know it because you’ve mainly been reading good writing.

More concrete indications of bad prose are sections that make you go “Huh?” or that make you laugh because they’re so ridiculous even though the author meant it to be serious. It’s prose that’s boring, even if you can’t articulate why your mind is wandering. Crappy writing just doesn’t sound right to your ear.

Other bad writing signs include no variation in sentence length, too much telling instead of showing, overshowing, no drama, no emotion, backstories that are too long, unnecessary detail, and on and on. I’m not talking about mechanical problems with grammar or lapses in POV or tense but simple, bad freakin’ writing.

read the full article here

Weekly Tarot Readings Available 5/26/20

Hello All,

The new weekly readings are available on YouTube!

This week’s focus: Career & Finance (monthly)

I found Capricorn’s reading to be truly wonderful and I was so pleased it resonated with so many…even half the world away! I’m sharing below. Capi, you continue to be a favorite sign. Your messages always convey a strength of will that is admirable. To see your sign, visit Sassy Scorpion Tarot.

Private Readings – I am offering limited services at this time, the .com could not wait! If you go to purchase a reading from me and the message box in PayPal says FULL, then my reading schedule is full. Please check back on the date indicated. You want to work with me and I want to work with you too. Thank you for considering me as your reader; a privilege and an honor.

Take care and be well. I will see you in the stars.

Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com
SassyScorpionTarot

Music: Everything Zen by Bush

MUSIC is a segment that features a song that’s caught my brain.

Everything Zen is for anyone who would empty their lungs with a primal scream and yet are sadly tasked with the insistence that, “everything’s fine.” I see you. Me too.

Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com


Lyrics, Everything Zen by Bush

There must be something we can eat
Maybe find another lover
Should I fly to Los Angeles
Find my asshole brother

Mickey mouse has grown up a cow
Dave’s on sale again
We kissy kiss in the rear view
We’re so bored, you’re to blame

Try to see it once my way
Everything zen, everything zen
I don’t think so
Everything zen, everything zen
I don’t think so

Raindogs howl for the century
A million dollars at stake
As you search for your demigod
And you fake with a saint

There’s no sex in your violence
There’s no sex in your violence
There’s no sex in your violence
There’s no sex in your violence

Try to see it once my way
Everything zen, everything zen
I don’t think so
Everything zen, everything zen
I don’t think so
Everything zen, everything zen

I don’t believe that Elvis is dead, yeah
I don’t believe that Elvis is dead
I don’t believe that Elvis is dead, yeah
I don’t believe that Elvis is, Elvis is

There’s no sex in your violence
There’s no sex in your violence
There’s no sex in your violence
There’s no sex in your violence

Try to see it once my way
Everything zen, everything zen
I don’t think so
Try to see it once my way
Everything zen, everything zen
I don’t think so

Zen, zen
I don’t think so, I don’t think so, I don’t think so

Writer’s Lift Wednesday #14

This is a writersliftwednesday blog, sharing the works of fellow writers, poets and persons random. All re-blogs will be linked appropriately to their authors.

Writing is no easy calling and nothing easy was ever worth doing.

Support each other. Share and reshare.

Cheers,
Christina Schmidt, MA
armedwithcoffee.com


1. Immersed by Ricardo via RS CIIPHER

I’m still drowning in your Aura.
The ship has sunk into “Utopia”.
– Your Eyes are enticing sirens;
(Plus) your price welcomes me.

Uninterrupted. – I’m catapulted
…by many seas, and one reason.
I’m out of season. Flowery eyed;
I’m sedated under the solidified.

So exhausted; I’ve fallen asleep.
I like [when you see] and I don’t.
So excited. I’m filled with [a sip].
But I will not swim back. I won’t.

2. “Frustrations of a Writer,” by Josephine Amoako via Joseyphina’s World

Emptyheaded;

So quiet in there;

Wondering where all the loud thoughts disappeared to;

Can’t seem to find a single stray thought to hold on to;

As if they are hiding away from me;

Afraid of what I’d do to them;

The silence is deafening;

Even with music in my ears;

It feels like it’s playing into a vacuum;

Hitting the walls of the brain;

And bouncing right back to me;

read the full piece here

3. Fantasy Haiku I by Carboniferous Fern

I
Honey song rising
from the river mouth, fine lips
of merfolk glisten.

II
Green grass is pooling
over water, which stirs when
heads rise on long necks.

III
Many thin-edged wings
filter the morning light, both
reticulated.

IV
Crack in red ceiling:
outside the cave, warm wind sweeps —
a dragon flies past.

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