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Link of the Day: The Art of Short Stories

Short Stories

The Huffington Post: Short Stories: ‘The Paris Review’ Creates a Great New Compilation


I love writing and reading short stories.  Check out the interview and new book about the art of writing a short story.


My Listy List: 5 Ways to Get and Stay Motivated

I am a procrastinator, I lose motivation easily, and I give up quickly: these are just some of my vast and reoccurring faults which haunt my daily life.  Sound familiar to anyone else?

I would not say that I am lazy, however I would much rather lounge on a couch than exercise, surf the net than start homework, and forfeit my obligations just because I have an hour long train ride.  OK, yes I am lazy.

However, over the years I have found that little things can really help me get motivated and stay focused on the task at hand.  So, if you are like me, or even just relate to one of the things mentioned above, then my list of 5 ways to get and stay motivated could possibly give you the inspiration you need.


  •  Clean Disco-Style.  Ugh, housework.  It seems like the randomly appearing dust bunnies, the piles of unwashed dishes, and the un-made beds just never go away.  Cleaning is a daily task, which most women (my sister excluded), feel needs to be completed before relaxing with a drink-in-hand can occur.  Yet, it is just so damn tedious!  One thing that I have found works for me is jammin’ it up while doing the housework.  Whether you blast those tunes (Bob Marley is my housework hubby), replace the sound of running water with your favorite TV show (The Ghost Whisperer works for me), or create a jig with your vacuum (mine actually has some moves!), it helps you to stay entertained and speed up the cleaning process. 
  •  Disconnect.  Anyone who is attending school, such as myself, or who remembers the long study hours, can agree that one can be easily distracted while doing homework.  We live in the digital age, and whether it’s our vibrating phone, a new Facebook status, or an updated blog post, the virtual world just seems to get in the way.  Try disconnecting.  Before starting homework, unplug the internet router (Gasp!, I know) and retreat to a room far away from that box we call our social lives.  If your homework needs to be done on the computer – such as taking notes on Word – then being far away from the router will spike up that lazy mentality we all secretly suppress and you will rather finish your homework than trek to turn on the router.  If you need to utilize the internet for your homework, then set a time limit goal that if you finish a certain amount of homework, you will then allow yourself 5 minutes to surf the web.  If you’re still tempted with such things as Facebook, there’s always an option to deactivate your account, which won’t erase it, until you go back and reactivate it – and don’t worry, your Facebook page will still be the same!  

Internet Disconnect

  • Commute Step-by-Step (or Wheel-by-Wheel) .  One thing I have a problem with is thinking about the travel time required to get to a place.  I live in Madrid, a city ran by its public transportation system, and just getting to my university takes an hour of a train and a metro.  Oh, how I wish to had the ability to teleport!  But since that’s impossible, I needed to find a way to distract myself from the fact that my commute was both long and tiresome, and shouldn’t stop me from going places.  One thing that worked for me, and has also worked in other aspects of my life, is taking the commute “step-by-step” by focusing on one aspect of the commute at a time.  While I walk to the train station, I count how many cars pass me that are blue; while I wait for the train, I make a bet with myself on whether or not it will be on time or late; while I ride on the train, I either read or people watch; while I switch from the train to the metro, I guess where each person I pass is going; and while I walk from the metro stop to my destination, I go over – in my head of course – what needs to be done or said when I reach that destination.  And before I know it, I’m there!  You can also entertain yourself during a long car commute by listening to the radio, playing driving games with yourself, or fist pumping out the window for semi-trucks to blare their horn.  These things can all distract you from thinking of how much time you have left in your commute, and get you motivated to actually go places without the nagging thought of the long transportation ahead.

  • Remember Your Goals.  One easy and efficient reminder that gets and keeps me motivated is remembering my goals and what I am working towards.  Why am I going to school?  To obtain my dream career.  Why am I going to work?  Because it’s my dream job and I need to support my family.  Why am I cleaning?  To keep a healthy and happy home.  Just reminding yourself of why you need to do what you have to do can greatly motivate you, and also allow yourself to remember just how important living life really is.
  • Think of the Dead.  This last one may be a little morbid, however it works.  Thinking of your loved ones who have died, and wondering if they completed everything they set out to achieve, can really help keep yourself motivated.  I have lost some very close friends whom were so young – 19 and 20 years old – and just knowing that their whole life was ahead of them is definitely a wake-up call for me.  I too have my whole life ahead of me, the only difference is I can still experience it, and with this motivation, it reminds me that TV shows will always have re-runs, my friends are much more interesting in person, and I can sleep when I die.  So, just LIVE!


*Note: The pictures on this post were taken from Google Images.  The words and ideas of the list however, are my own: © Kalie Lyn, 2011*

W… W… W… Wednesday: What, What and What

WWW Wednesdays by: Should Be Reading



What are you currently reading?


The Devil's Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America's Great White Sharks

Currently, I’m reading The Devil’s Teeth by Susan Casey.  I’m only on the first chapter, but so far it’s really good.  I’m excited to get into it more!



What did you recently finish reading?


In the Shadow of Man

I just finished In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall.  You can see my review of it here.



What do you think you’ll read next?


I have no idea what I’ll be reading next.  I have a massive amount of books on my TBR list so I’ll see what I’ll read next after I finish my current one.


Quote of the Day: Jules Renard

Happy Birthday Mr. Twain

Born in 1835, in Florida, Missouri, Samuel Clemens, widely known by his pen name, Mark Twain, is still one of the most adored and popular writers of all time.

Personally, I loved Mark Twain growing up, and while I haven’t read his books in a while, his stories are still some of my favorites.

So, let’s pay some homage to Mr. Mark Twain on what would have been his 176th birthday.


Some of His Most Known Works:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn


The Prince and the Pauper

The Prince and the Pauper

Life on the Mississippi

Life on the Mississippi (Signet Classics)

The Innocents Abroad

The Innocents Abroad

Twain’s work is impossible to keep track of because of the different kinds of writings he did – novels, travelogues, journalism articles, speeches…etc – and because of the different pen names that he wrote under.  As early as 1995, researchers were still discovering some of his work.


My Personal Favorite Mark Twain Quotes:

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.

Do something every day that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

The list could really go on and on.


In 1909, Twain was quoted saying:

“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.'”

And he got his wish.  In 1910, on April 21, one day after Halley’s Comet’s ‘closest approach to Earth’, Twain died of a heart attack at the age of 74

So, let’s honor this amazing man and writer with a little Happy Birthday:

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday to you,

Happy Birthday dear Mark Twain,

Happy Birthday to you.


*Note: Check out the links above for more info and to see my sources.  The picture was taken from Wikipedia.*

Teaser Tuesday: The Last NaNoWriMo Teaser

Teaser Tuesdays by: Should Be Reading

Flip to a random page anywhere in your current read and copy down two (2) “teaser” sentences.  Share the title and author and then post your teasers in the comment section of this week’s Teaser Tuesdays at Should Be Reading!


This will be the last NaNo teaser from me!

I have officially finished NaNo, though I am still writing to get my story done, and I will be happy to dive back into reading real books!

But for today’s Teaser Tuesday, I am going to give you another, and the last, teaser from my NaNoWriMo novel.  Make sure you tell me what you think!




Me, Kalie Lyn 🙂


Only the sound of one gunshot in the night forced their hands apart, the loud boom causing all three teenagers to jump up in shock.  After the fear had passed, after all three had settled back into the comfort of the couch, did Karim and Lola lock hands again, this time their fingers knowing where to connect with one another’s.


Ahem.  I’m am pleased to announce that you are looking at another National Novel Writing Month winner!

*pops open a bottle of champagne*

I have officially completed the 50,000 word goal, and it only took me 28 days!

While I am excited beyond no end, especially since it was my first year competing and I won (YAY!), I am still not done with my novel.  Correction: I am way, WAY NOT done with my novel.

Let’s see.  I have exactly 50,000 words and have just started chapter 6.  There are to be 12 chapters, so…I have…6 more chapters to go and probably another 50K words to write.  There is still a long writing road ahead of me to finish this damn thing!

But that’s OK.  That’s OK because I chose a story that is interesting to me and one that I want to keep on writing.  I will not give up, and definitely not let myself lose motivation.  Just because NaNo is over, does not mean my inspiration and writing schedule is over.  No, no, no.  I can do this, and I will finish it!

However, for the rest of the night (it’s 9pm here in Spain) I shall be celebrating!