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Happy New Year!

We are posting this blog early this week in celebration of the New Year! 2020 is going to be different right?! Wink, wink, hint, hint… It’s what we all say and what we all would like to believe. As for the journal, we are always experimenting, always thinking of what could be new, what theme we want this year, what kind of podcasts to record, what theme the coming journals will have. Will print finally arrive this year? Will our digital footprint expanded to something new? Will we add an editor to the board? Are we (editors) going to travel to the West and see more of the United States? An entire year of 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes and 31,536,000 seconds is a lot of time that goes by way too fast.

So here are some writing prompts and cool ideas to continue for this year, or to kick it off!

  • Write a letter to yourself for the year 2020. Include resolutions, goals, or predict the future of where you will be, seal it in an envelope, place it somewhere safe, and don’t open it until the next year. Will you be right and have done what you wanted? How much did you change since writing that letter? You won’t know until Jan. 1. 2121!
  • Buy a large mason jar or even a photo box, and some paper and cut them into squares, and everyday write something that was good or bad, a joke you learned, a pun you heard, a book you finished, a mile you ran, a puppy you got, a baby you bore, a place you ventured, a new recipe you created, a person you were grateful for having in your life, seeing your life flash before your eyes being stuck in a public bathroom stall, a piece of wisdom you got from karma, that ho, a thing you mastered, a moment you learned, a person you decided you would hate until the bell struck midnight, or a wizard you met while on the yellow brick road of life. Store them in this jar or box and next year, open it to reread your year.
  • Cut a headline from a newspaper or magazine a day, store them in journal or book, map out the year that is and will become.
  • Write down a resolution, a habit to change, a goal that was a dream on a sticky note, place it where you will see it every day, and then do it!
  • Write down three resolutions on a slip of paper, but two of them are a lie. One of them you must keep. Keep this somewhere safe until next year, which are the two you won’t do?
  • Take a photo in the same place every day for the year of 2020. Replay it back, what did the year look like? This is a great idea if you have kids or puppies that grow!

To all you go-getters and planners, or those moving like me at a snail pace and procrastinating until my world dies, I hope you have a great year to come! May the universe sprinkle a little luck on the planet named Earth.

Holiday Updates

This week’s blog is important as we have some updates! We also have some questions we would like to ask you.

So far submissions for the spring 2020 journal have been going great. For fiction, there has been a lot submitted and Amber is excited to read all of them. Her submissions have a great range in long and short, and vary in all sorts of themes. For nonfiction, I have noticed a particular theme of drug abuse, death, or a type of emotional strain. I was joking with the other editors that since I write the police log for the newspaper, I deal a lot with drug abuse and I also edit the obituaries, so I deal a lot with death. Then going to read the stories submitted, it was like reading what I do for my current job as a content editor and writer. So, if you are out there reading this, there is still time to submit an engaging story for nonfiction! For art, we are only doing cover photos, so the submission have been small but mighty. We might have our youngest artist yet to be featured as the front cover for this journal. For poetry, Addey says everything is going well! There are lots of good submissions coming in and she’s excited to piece together the poetry section–it’s looking to be a varied and intriguing section!

The submissions for Spring 2020 will close Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.

If you would like to submit, art, poetry, nonfiction and/or fiction, please do so before then.

The editors are taking a holiday break next week for Christmas to celebrate the holidays with our families, so please bear with us on email responses and social media posts.

The important questions would like to ask as we are also gearing up to the next year is: what specific blog topics or posts and podcasts would you like hear/read? If you want to read more about how to write, please let us know what topics you would like us to cover. We are always interested in what people want to read or listen to.

If you have a topic you would like us to discuss or write about, please list it in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can also email us at editors@borrowedsolace.com

We would also like to note that if you would like to be featured on our podcast, we are always welcome into taking volunteers!

So have some happy holidays! And submit if you haven’t already!

Reflecting on Writing

At this time of year I always find myself reflecting. As the year comes to a close, I remember what happened this year–the changes that have occurred, the growth I’ve seen, and just what, exactly, happened.

I know for many people 2019 was a tough year. I get that–I wouldn’t say 2019 was an overall tough year for me but it had a lot of tough moments. Some might say that 2019 was an amazing year full of exciting changes and joyful new experiences.

Whichever way your 2019 falls, I’m sure you at least wrote in 2019!

I wanted to take this post to encourage you to remember all the amazing work you put into writing and developing your craft this year. Maybe you were published in borrowed solace this year–congratulations! Maybe you finished a draft of that novel along with Nicole in NaNoWriMo this year–great job! Maybe you remembered to actually write something creative this year other than emails–good for you!

Whatever your writing wins were this year, celebrate them! As we take stock of what 2019 was for each and every one of us, don’t forget writing in your end of year review, too.

I know one of things I feel most accomplished about this year is my writing. I feel like I’ve finally figured out what my voice is when it comes to poetry, and I’m so glad for that! I published several pieces this year–poetry, nonfiction, and more. Even though right now I’m writing while I’m not writing (more about that here), I know that progress was made this year, however small.

So even if 2019 was a terrible year for you, take stock of the writing accomplishments you made this year–little and large. I’m sure you are better off than you know…

All You Need is Love

This blog, I would like to conclude the NaNoWriMo Writing challenge. 

I admit, the last week of the November month, I completely fell off the wagon (I wrote 24,241 words) and I couldn’t run hard enough to catch back up and jump back on. The day before Thanksgiving, my mother got a call her father wasn’t doing well. So, we went right away to see my grandpa. He passed the following the week; an angel got his wings on Wednesday, Dec. 4. 

He taught me that love is a promise and affection is a souvenir, once given, it can’t be forgotten because he wouldn’t let it disappear. That in the end, the love you take should always equal the love you make. My grandparents’ relationship growing up taught me that true love exists if you want to find it. So in remembrance of him, I wrote him into the novel I am writing. I actually finished the novel Dec.1. You can never die if your a character in a story right? 

So, now I am on my dreadful way to both edits and his funeral. But if writing about grim reapers and researching the different cultures of the world and how they view death has taught me anything, it’s that it is never the end, you just continue on somewhere else.

-Nicole

In memory of my grandfather, David Ostrander

The End of the Season

As fall comes to a close and winter is almost upon us, season one of borrowed solace: the podcast is coming to an end. We are excited to come back in the new year with more guests, more fun topics, and more of what we are all about—community. Thank you so much for listening and being apart of our venture into the realm of podcasting. See you next year!

Episode 10: Resources

Episode ten of borrowed solace: the podcast features story time with Eowyn Randall. Eowyn Randall has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh, a city she discovered she loved while spending a year traveling North America by bus and reading the stories of other journeys. She still lives, writes, and reads there. Particularly interested in genres, she’s constantly looking for new ways to blur the boundaries between them. Her work has appeared in A Lonely Riot & borrowed solace.

As always, we want to hear from you! It’s almost Thanksgiving, so imagine we are gathered for a borrowed solace friendsgiving, and share what you think about this episode in the comments below!

Episode 10: A Block of Lard

This episode of the podcast I am joined by Amber and a special guest who was published in borrowed solace issue 1.2. Tune in to hear Eowyn Randall read her story, “A Block of Lard,” on this episode of the podcast!

A Writing Update

Hi writing folks!

This week has been terrible for me as I have a horrible cold and I am going through training classes with my puppy! We only lasted three classes and then we were kicked out. German Shepherds are known to bark, and my boy has a deep and super loud bark. Too much for the trainers there to handle. Nothing stops him from barking, so here I go finding another place who can help. So with that being said, to calm myself, I have been writing. I am pretty steady at 1,000 words a day, which they recommend 1,600 a day to stay on top. So, some days I go over, and some I am under. Right now I am at 14,000 words.

I have been working on this novel. I started with the idea from a short story in college, a story that most of my classmates thought was a part of novel when it wasn’t back then…not yet. But the writing idea I had was to imagine if one day you woke up with your grandmother by your side telling you to take over the family business…the business of being a grim reaper. I actually got ripped apart for that story in class, so I came back with a different version of how to become a grim reaper. I am nineteen chapters in and I am so ready for the novel to be written and over.

My tip (and struggle) is to keep writing, you can always edit later. Only stop to fix corrections of words from typing fast—because those pesky red lines are so distracting—but keep going. Just get it on paper. Get it done. You can do it.

And here’s a photo of Thunder because having him close helps too! He is as black as Grim.

So now a bit from Addey on how she has been making out (spoiler from Addey–it’s nowhere near as good as Nicole has been doing!)

Nicole challenged me to also try to write this month.  I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with lots of random other things on my to do list, so writing has fallen to the wayside a bit, but the idea of so many others around the world using November as their excuse to write like crazy has inspired me to at least try to write more for this month—even if it’s not 1,000 words a day.

I have also been working on an idea for a novel that I have written and re-written again and again.  It’s an idea that came from a German movie I watched in a class in college.  It’s a source of pretty random inspiration, but so far everyone I have talked to about the plot line and story idea think it’s a great idea, and something unique.  That’s part of the battle in and of itself when it comes to writing—getting the idea just perfect—so I am rolling with it.

My issue was that when I have had the first several chapters critiqued I have been told time and time again that the beginning just wasn’t grabbing the reader.  I didn’t have a good beginning.  So I think I was putting off working on the idea anymore because I didn’t know where to start.  But I decided to tackle a new beginning—to start of a chapter or two into what I had before.  It meant cutting out a lot of already written work, but the book will be better because of it.  I think I’ve come up with a killer first line, too, if I do say so myself.

So that’s where I’m at.  Only a few chapters into my new version of the same idea, but better off than I was in October.

Are you taking on NaNoWriMo to the full extent like Nicole, or using it as inspiration to set aside more time for writing without an end goal in mind like Addey?  Let us know by commenting below!