It’s Friday Without the Yay [Day in the Life]

Howdy, y’all!

It’s Fri-yay, but your girl has got a bit of a sinus issue that is zapping ALL of the energy out of her, so today is more of a regular, ol’ Friday.

I won’t keep you back from your usual Friday routine tonight as the night is screaming for people to head out and enjoy the cool, summer evening. Continue reading

Burned by Farenheit 451

“You’re either in love with what you do, or you’re not in love.”

These were the words that I read in the back of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. And it’s almost as though I cannot escape them. Isn’t this the universal truth about anything that you invest your time and energy into? You either love it or you don’t.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m halfassing my goals because I’m not in love with them. Maybe I’m just in love with the idea and not the action itself … just like those women who love weddings and the idea of love but forget that they have to be in love and in a marriage the next day. Maybe…

After I finished Farenheit 451 I thought to myself, what would happen to us if there weren’t any books? What would happen to us, if we didn’t have a few words on a page to enlighten, to inspire, to sympathize? What if we only had bright lights and sounds to comfort us? Immediately, I thought I’d go insane. Even though I do not read as much as I would like to, the idea of having my face glued to a colorful box 24/7/52 just made me lose it internally. Can you imagine how mushy our brains would become?

But then I thought about the bigger issue … the issue of having a cause to fight for. And I wondered if I was “fighting” hard enough to become what I ultimately want to be. I know that my writing isn’t up to par, and that half the time (well, in the past few months, rather) my thoughts are disjointed … slightly incoherent. But does that mean I should stop all together — or just fight harder?

“They must write you. They must control you,” said Bradbury. “They plot me. I never control. I let them have their lives. ”


“I just let them speak. I don’t control them; I simply give them a podium and let them talk to me. All my good stories are told to me by the characters. I don’t write my stories. They write me.”

I used to just sit and wait. And then all of a sudden, a wave would wash over me. I would just start typing and typing away and next thing you know, there were characters on a page. And they were doing things. And saying things. And loving people. And kissing people. And killing people. The experience was like … a movie playing in the dark recesses of my mind and my hands were trying ever so hard to catch every moment, every detail so that it was out of my mind and onto a medium that everyone else could see. But it seems as though the movie theater is closed. And No matter how hard I try to pry it open, the boards are nailed down tight.

“You have to believe in that self as a writer, or you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Is it that my belief is not as strong … that I lack the appropriate amount of faith? Three unfinished novels, an unfinished novella and an unfinished book of short stories. People say that stories cannot write themselves, but I believe they can.

Maybe my characters have abandoned me until I am ready once again to give them all their much needed attention. Maybe they’re waiting until I fully believe that I am the one to tell their stories.

My Need to Stop “Wanting”

I need to stop “wanting” to do something and just do it.

I went on Instagram the other day and captioned this Michael’s inspirational photo with this spiel about how I need to be more creative, and/or write more. Ask me what I’ve done so far. Go ahead, ask. Better yet, why don’t you guess. That’s right … nothing.

I’ve got this huge mental block that’s a mixture of procrastination and utter fear and it’s making me freak the f-ck out. My ultimate goal in life is to be a creator — in multiple senses of the word and I find that my creative process is just not what it used to be. And that scares me. Have I lost it? Have I lost my ability to create?

Most nights I feel as though I’m sitting the dark, waiting for the muses to speak. A soft whisper, whimper, anything in my ear. And I just can’t find it. I can’t find the words or the will to start. Am I going deaf, or are they just not talking anymore?

“I want to…” is how I preface sentences these days. I don’t like it. The only way to make it stop is to be proactive and my normal surges of artistic, innovative energy are just NOT there.

I swear, this is why some of the more creative people throughout history had to smoke opium, or drink heavily in order to produce masterpieces. This damn pressure to make something out of nothing. It’s insane!

But I’m rambling…

I saw a lady today and I tried to craft a hint story about her:

“She reminded me of mocha and chocolate, but looked nothing like it. Pouted lips and tiny wefts of hair she struggled to contain with a pin.”

Then after a minute of thinking, I found that I didn’t like it. And it was a word over. But in the back of my mind I congratulated myself, stating that at least I tried. I wanted to craft a hint story and I did. Failed technically, but I went after it.

Where has the inspiration gone? Am I going insane? Am I slowly but surely going out of it because I’m over-thinking and over-analyzing the situation at hand? It should be pretty simple to just do something — to just get up, and push myself to write something or craft something. To just do, instead of wanting to do.

Is this quarter life crisis just kicking my ass in more ways than one?


In the past, when I wrote, it was almost like an out-of-body experience — my thoughts just floated onto the page and came alive on their own. I was a vessel and the story, its characters, the emotions … everything just came out of me just like Ray Bradbury said about all his best stories. They wrote themselves and he was just the person, the vessel they used to come into existence. Sigh..

Well, at least I wrote today. That’s better than nothing.

Oh OH It’s NaNoWriMo

Hello ALL!

First, I apologize for my absence. For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on another project of mine which I was hoping to do a little bit better with all the energy that I’ve been putting into it. Now that the hardest part is over, I’m turning some of my attentions back to WRITING.

Now, back to reality: NANOWRIMO! Continue reading

Day 21 – Novella Halted

Words Written: 0

Last Word Count: 12,447

I haven’t written in several days since I posted the last update.  Due to the recent changes in my life with regards to work, I’ve been shifting my focus towards completing some other projects that I’ve had on the mind for AGES. And while this is both therapeutic and potentially business related, I’ve found that I’m not writing anything new. It’s all in the head though.

I’m also researching more for this novella. As it is set in a city that’s NOT New York (which is where I reside), I have to be careful about what places and landmarks I reference. It’s challenging, but I’m tired of New Yorkers writing about New York. Amazing things can happen in other parts of the country…not to mention I was inspired by a story based out west when I started this piece.

I do need to work on this. I got 29 days to finish at least 7,000 words.

Oh Jeebus!



Day 20 – Novella in Progress

Words Written: 1005

Last Word Count: 12,447

      I haven’t written in several days since I posted the last update. My word counts are off, as I’ve been adding to different parts of the story, however, the 1005 mentioned are a continuous stream of thought adding to the part of the story that is already in motion. It took me a while to get it out, as I had to try and re-work it several times. I had to do some last minute researching because I am writing about a city I’ve never been to. It would be easier to set it all in NYC, but I think NYC has enough books written about it.

Anyhow, my progress has been halted by various life-changing events going on in my life as well as some serious time usurping, but I’m trying to stay as positive as I can. As I see i, I’ve got about 5,000 more words to go to categorize this story as a NOVELLA, but it will take well over 7,000 words in my mind to make it complete.

Just gotta make it!



Day 19 – Novella in Progress

Words Written: 566

Last Word Count: 11,078

      So I officially started my goal to finish my novella by March 1st on Jan 16.  As I was sick and dealing with children, I couldn’t start on Friday as I had hoped. Instead, I started today and timed myself to work for 30 mins – an hour. I started going in several different directions, but now I know where I want to go with some of the characters and I’m pretty proud of myself. While I am at 11,078 words, about 4,000 of them are for the middle and end of the story, so now I have to work towards getting the middle and then get it all out for it to end.

Here’s to a productive tomorrow!



Day 2

This is my second entry. I’m going to make it a habit of updating this blog as much as possible.

Interesting things that happened today: I found out that November is National Novel Month and so there is a website designed for writers to write an entire novel in 30 days. Without stopping to think about it, or without editing. To just…write. That seems simple enough, right?

Aside from that, I see a memoir contest posted. I think I will actually pay and submit one. So far, I’ve been looking into free publishing and now that I have been working and am actively working towards publication and getting a name for myself, I think I will venture out into the unknown. Maybe my memoir will actually win? Or get honorable mention? Who knows…but it’s a step in the right direction and I can not say I didn’t try.

FYI- All posts about ‘writing’ will be titled with a Day and #. Anything else, will be titled accordingly going forward and also color coordinated for funky differentiation!

When I get a few hours to myself, I will be moving some of my more ‘creative pieces’ from my other blog, to this one and let the color coding begin!


-Alj Augustine


Nicest Rejection Letter

Dear Afiya Augustine,

Thank you for sending us “Win A Date With Avian’s Daughters”. We read this piece and your two others. You should know we do think you are a good writer. There are memorable moments. Visit our guidelines page (on the submit tab) to read more about what we’re looking for—slipstream, magic realism, a voice that is odd and hard to capture. We also want to let you know that these can definitely find a home out there. Use Duotrope to find a journal that does your work justice.

I submitted two other pieces: Patient Lover and Keepsake. 
I guess these are rejection numbers 50something through 50something.