Lyla Campbell

As a young woman in college I heard encouraging words from my professors telling me "It's a different world now for women in (insert appropriate profession here)" and "There is no such thing as a glass ceiling anymore"

What the college professors didn't prepare us for is how rotten some people in the corporate world can be and that not everyone outside of academia has jumped on the equality band wagon.

To make a long story uber short: Some people really suck. And they can turn your joy ride of a life into one hell of a bumpy ride. (At this point I'll leave you to wonder whether I'm going of first hand experience or a compilation of stories from after work girl talk).

I know some of you might be thinking "You're just figuring this out now?" and rolling your eyes, thinking I might be a bit naive. Don't get me wrong. I've always known that the real world is a rough place. But knowing and actually hearing things over cubicle walls, are very different things. Plus, people never cease to amaze me. Just when you think you've seen and heard it all some wing nut comes up with a new and more offensive way of practicing jerk-ism.

In order to put a positive spin on this dreary enlightenment, I'm making a very pointed effort to turn it into inspiration for my writing. Having people that really "hoover at life" is what can make for excellent conflict in a plot.

Flash back to the 1990s and the TV series Ally McBeal. Scenes from the show would depict what the characters would like to do during moments of pissed-off-edness. Whether it be setting someones pants on fire or standing idly by while the watch a volley of arrows sail into their foe's chest. Visualizing these things happening put a smile on their face.

For me, using prose to eviscerate the not so savory people in my life is extremely cathartic and puts a smile on my face in the very same way.

So, I encourage you to use the "everyday idiots" in your life in the same way. Let them help you enrich your writing and create more disslikeable antagonists. And on the bright side, once you get published, you don't have to cut them in on the royalties. ;-)
Lyla Campbell

With three works in progress sitting stagnant on my hard drive (along with a few partials too), I've started yet another outline.

The reason...

NaNoWriMo approacheth!!! I know many of you are NaNo veterans. But if are in need of enlightenment: NaNoWriMo = National Novel Writing Month. In November of every year WriMos wait with baited breath, fingers tips poised with anticipation above keyboards, for the clock to strike 12 on Halloween night. Beginning at that moment, you have 30 whole days to write a complete story arc with no fewer than 50,000 words. That averages out to be 1,667 words per day. Essentially, NaNoWriMo is a swift kick in the writing pants. (Want more specifics? Check out the Official NaNoWriMo Site)

This will be my 3rd year to do NaNo and my phalanges are already tingling with joy! This year I will write more dangerously and with more abandon. This year I will break through writer's block more quickly and embrace underthinking the plot. This year will be the most fantabulous NaNo yet!

So, I'm piecing together a completely brand spanking new outline rather than working on a previous WIP.

Decided to do NaNo? Add me as a writing buddy! My NaNo Name is: Daria03

P.S. My RSS feed button has been fixed...I'm subscribe-able again!!!
Lyla Campbell

I have 23 draft posts marinading on my blogger account. TWENTY-THREE! So, I've made a mid-year resolution to comb through them all, get them finished and up on the blog.

So much blogging goodness queued up and ready to go!
Lyla Campbell

On the heels of the post about my day job...Engineering is why I write. I love writing because it's not engineering. The creative process of writing is the yen to the yang of the technical nature of my career. When I'm not at work, writing (among many other things) provides a balance.

During the 9 to 5 my entire focus is on numbers and figures. Take today for example. The two things I split my time between were: first to determine an accurate gallon per day irrigation consumption for a community's water model. I found this data by pouring over historical metered data records and then making some assumptions. And second, run multiple iterations on a model for different sizes of rainstorms until the model results and the real world data matched up almost exactly...ok you get the point. It's not the most free-form, creative occupation in the world.

Like I've said in previous blog posts, I enjoy this kind of work. But I'm 99.999% certain that if this was all that I did, I would go bloody batty.

Writing allows me to escape from "just the facts" and create something more malleable. It's an outlet for me in my world of following state regulations and industry standards. Getting to put a completely different world on paper, one that has endless possibilities, is a release. Creating a story that I enjoy would be wonderful to share with the world. And if I'm being honest, there's a little bit of my ego that would love to have something bigger than myself live on after I'm gone.

And it's fun...

So, why do you write? (Please chime in on this post! I would LOVE to know what motivates my fellow writers out there!)
Lyla Campbell
I stumbled upon this today:

It's a city/place generator...enjoy!

P.S. A new blog post is in the works. So check back VERY soon!
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Lyla Campbell
I'm waiting for take off from Houston to Baltimore. My parents and I are headed to Central PA so my Fiancee's parents and my parents can meet. I already know our mothers will get along famously...I wonder what shenanigans will arise out of this weekend? Possibly some great situations for a story line :)
Lyla Campbell

From the cube of Lyla Campbell (yes, that is really what my cube looks like. I like to think of it as organized chaos.)...

As seen in my profile blurb there to the right, during the 9 to 5, I'm an engineer. More specifically I work on water distribution systems. A.K.A the thing that makes the water come our of your faucet when you turn it on. When communities want to add on more houses or need a permit renewal, we model their system to show them what they can do and any changes they need to make. My during the day my weekday world is dominated by 99.9% numbers-and-figures-geekyness.

I thought when I came to work 4 years ago that the office environment would be one of quiet productivity and efficiency. Wow, was I wrong. My cube is surrounded by 8 others along with multiple offices on either side of our open area. It's loud. The guys just on the other side of my cube wall love "your mom" jokes and make fun of each other on a regular basis throughout the day. Many of my coworkers don't realize how much their voices carry and as a result I can hear their phone conversations with plant operators, clients, and your mom (yes, sadly the your mom thing grows on you after a while.) I listen to music most of the day to drown out this background bedlam.

Despite the din of the office, surprisingly, I find my job very satisfying. I really like what I do. Unfortunately a dark, dark cloud looms over my workplace...The coffee really sucks. I mean really. It smells like burning dog food while it's brewing and singeing on the hot plate. OK, I'm being nice. Or office coffee is truly a crime against humanity. As a blessing and a curse, we have a Starbucks downstairs. The blessing: better coffee (The dark cherry white chocolate mocha is so good you just might pee on your desk chair a little). The curse: It's a huge drain on my wallet.

The Solution: Desktop Mocha.

  • One cup of coffee

  • One packet of hot cocoa mix

  • A dash of tap water (this helps water down the burned taste of the coffee)

    • This combination equals slightly more palatable coffee.

      So, What kind of coffee (or tea) voodoo do you employ to satiate your coffee cravings?