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Monday, April 7, 2014

Blog Hop: The Writing Process.


If you happen to have any questions about the extremely secretive Science Fiction series I've been working on, some of those questions are about to be answered... Sort of. ;)

This is my very first Blog Hop! I was tagged by a fellow writer from Google+ named Emma Lindhagen in this blog. Thanks Emma! I love answering questions, especially about my passions, so I'll never turn down something like this. :)


Blog Hop Rules:  

Answer the four questions below, link back to the person who invited you, and link to the people who will be posting the following Monday.


1. What am I working on? 

I recently finished draft 8 of my very first novel, the first in a Science Fiction series of graphic novels (sort of). So right now I'm working on draft 9, and on getting draft 8 ready for my beta readers. Finishing this book is taking a lot longer than I thought it would, but it's getting there! And I'm already working on some illustrations for the next novel in the series, so that I can have those out of the way and save lots of time. Always something in the works for me, and not just writing related, but that's what I'm working on writing-wise right now. 


2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, first of all, the fact that my novels have illustrations is pretty different. It's not a comic book, and I'm not sure it can even be classified as a graphic novel. It's a novel, with illustrations included every now and then. Also, it's more than just Science Fiction (which will be more apparent once the second book comes out). It could also be classified as Romance (Although there isn't much of that ewey gewey sex stuff in it, it is romantic. It's been referred to as "Twilight for robots" if that tells you anything, LOL); Young Adult (which I guess is more of a target audience than a genre, although it's not just for young people - I like to think there's something in it for everyone); and maybe even Horror (lots of gore in both the novels and the illustrations - not so much that it's hard to read, I hope, but just enough to turn the stomach a bit). But I suppose lots of books do that... I think... Which reminds me, I'm probably the only writer on the planet that doesn't like to read books. It's not that I don't want to, I just don't have the patience. Too much going on in my head. So, that probably makes my novels different from writers who do read (hopefully in a good way, but we'll see). 


3. Why do I write what I write?

Because the writing gods demand it, and would probably drive me completely insane if I didn't write what I write. Also, this isn't just a hobby for me - it is my purpose. It feels good to finally be able to say that with confidence.  If I do nothing else before I die, I want my books to be read. Not because I want money or fame, but because I know they will change people. That is the real purpose of my novels. Each of them has a message for specific people. People with a purpose, like me. I want to ignite a generation of dreamers and thinkers, of warriors and peace-keepers. I want to change the world in some small way... But doesn't everyone? (I hope that's the case anyway) 


4. How does your writing process work?

3 words: Music, music, MUSIC. It is what inspires the stories in my novels, it is what keeps me writing when I feel like quitting, and it is what reminds me that this is my purpose. Even as I write this blog, "Like A Ray" by Ki: Theory is blasting in my ears. It's the song that inspired a huge event in my novel (which was also forged in the fires of music from LIVE, Ours, Coldplay, M83, and especially 30 Seconds To Mars, who's music has inspired over half of this trilogy). The very first thing I do when a novel idea comes to me is make a playlist of the music that inspired it, and listen to it while I write (and illustrate). More on my writing process can be found in this guest blog I wrote for a friend a while back, in which I also give writing advice (to the best of my current noob-ability, LOL). 


Well, there you have it. My first Blog Hop. :)

I now direct you to some awesome writer friends from Twitter

R. James Stevens (author of Clarity), and
Andrew Baker (author of H.C. To Light State), 
who also has a cool fanboy profile here.

Both these guys are great writers, as well as great friends who have been so supportive. They really are awesome, and I can't wait to read their answers to these questions next week! I hope you'll check out their blogs and read them too ;) 


}i{

Monday, March 31, 2014

Update.


Fair Warning: This blog is more personal than most. It's sort of how I worked through these emotions and found my way back to writer sanity... Sort of... Anyway, UPDATE.

So I know I haven't blogged in a while, but I've been so busy lately.
Finishing my novel.
That's right! ...Sort of. 

I'll probably have to do some more editing after my beta readers hit me with their best shot, but for now, it feels pretty final. 

Here are a couple posts from Twitter in case you missed them:








I've been listening to music (such as "Like A Ray" by Ki: Theory and "Recover" by Chvrches), and just soaking it in. This feeling of finality. This joy and pride and excitement and euphoria running through me like a surge of electricity... Could be partly from the music, but it's definitely related to the novel. I know that. It might sound crazy, but I rarely work on this novel without crying tears of joy, for some reason. So, that's a good sign... Right? 

(Also, it seems my music taste has changed and/or expanded through writing this novel, but that's another story for another blog)...

 Even though it isn't over, and I'm still not published (probably won't be for a while yet),  it feels like I'm on the edge of a cliff, about to jump. I feel like once I jump, I just might fly, but not knowing what's next makes it feel like I could fall too.

I'm sure seasoned authors would agree that finishing that first novel is scary. But then they would probably tell me that it's also worth it. They would probably tell me that even though I can't see through the fog of uncertainty in front of me, I just need to jump, and hope for the best. because, like I said in this guest blog, "Finish that book, get it out there, and spread your wings. It's the only way to know if you can fly."

So, with both excitement and fear gripping my racing heart, I'm taking my own advice and the advice of my fellow writers, and jumping blindly off of this cliff that is the threshold between the present and the future. If you don't hear from me, I didn't make it...

LOL, JK, you'll hear from me.
Hopefully soon. ;)



Friday, February 28, 2014

Guest Blog: Madeline Courtney


You might remember Madeline Courtney from my last interview with her. Well, since then, she has written another book, and has asked for another interview. I'm excited to bring this fresh young writer to you again. Enjoy!


1. How was writing Firelight different from writing your last book,
The Case of Irene Adler?


Madeline: As you may know, IRENE ADLER takes place in the late eighteen hundreds while FIRELIGHT has a modern day setting. So that's fairly different. The characters are also very different. Jonelle Watson was shy, but angered easily. Alice Rosewood (FIRELIGHT heroine) is a worrier, but also annoyed easily because of her anxiety. Everything is very different and I hope fans of my SUPERNATURAL SHERLOCK HOLMES book 1 will like this.

Kylie: I love your attention to personality traits, in both novels. It makes for memorable characters!


2. Obviously Firelight features fairies, something that has been done
a lot in the fantasy genre. Are your fairies the cute and bubbly kind,
or the dark "careful she bites" kind? (My fingers are crossed for the
latter, but either way it sounds awesome)


M: My fairies or "Fae" as they call themselves in the book are pretty awesome! They do Earth Bound Magick (which is a fancy way of saying Wicca) and it's their job to protect the creatures of the Earth. The Pixies, however, are shrewd fairies, gone evil for power. They feel they should control the world instead of saving it. After all, aren't they doing all the work while humans sit on their asses destroying the planet? There's a lot of Magick and a war is rising in this novel between the Fae and the Pixies.

K: Yesss, evil fairies. Check. LOL, and I prefer the term "Fae" as well. ;)


3. What was the inspiration behind this novel?

M: I went to school with a set of beautiful (if you don't mind me saying) native American twin girls and I knew I wanted to write about twins. And I've always had an obsession with fairies. They sort of merged together one day while I was taking the two hour car ride to KC (read my blog on the subject)

K: It can certainly be surprising to see where we get our inspiration from. Sometimes a novel just wants to be written, and we just have to go with it. Which is kind of awesome.


4. How do you plan to market Firelight?

M: I wanna sell it on Ebook and Amazon (and any other site that will take it for that matter!) But I also want to put it up for free download on my site and on WATTPAD (a lovely writing society).

K: Very cool of you to want to make your book free! I hope it will help bring you more readers :)


5. What can we expect from you next?

M: I have absolutely no idea. FIRELIGHT is taking up all of my brain. Literally, everything I do links back to fairies.

K: That's dedication! I wish I could stick to one project, LOL.


6. What is your advice to fellow writers?

M: READ. WRITE. TWEET. REPEAT.

K: Good advice! I usually get stuck on the "tweet" part, as I think many writers do. Social media can be such a distraction, but it's also a great way to stay in touch with readers and let people in on your progress :) Thanks for letting me interview you again, and good luck with everything! 


}i{

 




Friday, February 21, 2014

Guest Blog: Melissa Scholes


A new author named Melissa Scholes was recommended to me and sent me an email asking to do a guest blog the other day. I didn't hesitate. I'm excited to share her interview with you. I'm trying a new format starting with this one, so I hope it works and isn't too confusing! Here is her interview:



1. I read the first chapter of your novel "The Unknown" and I'm very
intrigued. What else can you tell me about the plot?

Melissa: The plot is very unique. Each character is a part of me that shows my personality, so I'm putting them in a jumbled mess of being grown ups when they should really be out having fun. Cindy really helps those four characters relax and have some fun, but eventually the fun has to stop. Isabella has this special ability to see the future with the help of Shadow People. The Shadow People are these black mist that come to her in her dreams to guide her in the right direction. Isabella has support by her two best friends Camille and Lupin with her older brother Joseph to take out the cruel scientist, Septimus. Unfortunately it will be a long unraveling journey for the four friends, for they will come to some pretty enormous walls that will possibly change their lives even more. I also like to put tension between Lupin and Isabella because I love juicy romances.


Kylie: Me too! Gotta have that tension ;)



2. What was the inspiration behind this novel?

M: My nightmares, dreams, and my bestie, Madeline Courtney, helped inspire me to write such a novel. It's based on science fiction that goes beyond our own time, but not for long. I have always had an open mind to any possibilities, and this was one of them.


K: Definitely cool that it's Science Fiction (my favorite genre of course) and I love anything that explores the unknown (such as dreams etc) so it sounds awesome!



3. I noticed "The Unknown" switches between past tense and present
tense a lot. What was it that made you decide to take this route?

M: With Isabella's dreams, she has to show through her past why she put up such strong built walls around her heart. I also have a tendency to mix up my past tense with present, but since this is the first draft right now, I'm writing down to wash it out of my head. Once done editing it will all be fixed, with the help of Madi of course.


K: Ah, okay, that makes sense now. Sorry, but I just had to ask! 



4. Any future novels currently in the works?

M: I'm not currently working on another book, but ideas pop into my head for this one particular book I want to produce. It's called Imperfections. I will be typing up real life experiences in this novel that will portray my struggles that tragically have played a big part of my life. I wasn't the best kid in the world to suck up to peoples good side. I was rather the  na├»ve child clawing at the edge of dangers.  Ultimately those wrong decision have made me a stronger, better person now to where I can give others advice.


K: That sounds awesome. I would love to read it. Good luck writing it!



5. Got any advice for fellow writers?

M: My advice to other writers would be to write until your hands feel numb, don't give up no matter what, make time to write, don't make excuses of why you couldn't write, and to always write down the plotline, characters personality traits, and how that specific chapter would go.



K: Definitely agree, and I for one will be taking your advice to heart. 



6. Last but not least, can you tell us more about yourself, for those who might not know you?

M: Hi, my name is Melissa Brooke Scholes. I live in Carthage Missouri, but was born in Pittsburgh Kansas. I've always enjoyed writing ever since fifth grade. I made a trilogy of superheroes, but then tossed it out because it all sounded so childish. Of course that all was written when I was 12. Naturally when I was younger I was the girl outside playing with the neighborhood kids. When the weather was horrible I was inside building forts and exploring my imagination. There was a period in my life were the dangerous troublemaker dared to challenge the consequences. I'm better now and proving to people that I'm not that person anymore. I write books, poems, and stories to prove them wrong. My best friend Madeline Courtney helped me with all that shadiness and we joined in each others raids of writing. Thanks to Ksenia Anske, Amy Good, and bestie, Madeline Courtney, who has helped me better improve my book and gain readers.


K: Thanks for sharing, Melissa! Sounds like we would have gotten along well as kids ;) And I agree, those are definitely some great people you mentioned! I wish you luck with your novel and with all your endeavors. :) 


}i{



Thursday, January 30, 2014

Movie Review: Oblivion


Once in a while, a movie comes along that you've been waiting your whole life for. A movie that makes you feel something deep inside that you can't quite explain, all you know is that you want to share this feeling with the world. A movie that you never get tired of watching, no matter how many times you see it. A movie that you learn new things about each time, and with each time, you love it more. For me, that movie is Oblivion.

So what is it that makes this movie so special? Honestly, I'm not really sure.

Maybe it's the theme. Oblivion is crafted from the fibers of my favorite genre, Science Fiction. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world, which I love, and features a man on a mission, sent to retrieve Earth's remaining resources after a war has destroyed the planet, and along the way he discovers things that make him question himself and his purpose. And there is a splash of romance thrown in... Well, possibly more than a splash. And of course, every woman loves a little romance, whether she will admit it or not. And the way they go about the romance in this movie is uniquely moving. But there are plenty of Science Fiction movies out there, even some that are laced with romance. So, that can't be it.

Maybe it's the music. In fact, at first, it WAS the music for me. When I first watched the film, I kept turning to my husband and saying "OMG, this music is gorgeous!" and "Best soundtrack ever!" LOL. Needless to say, we ended up getting the soundtrack, which is an immaculate work of art by the amazing M83 and Joseph Trapanese. I literally spent weeks immersing myself in the musical masterpiece that is the Oblivion soundtrack. My favorite tracks are "Starwaves" (which is so breathtakingly gorgeous and moving and intense that it singlehandedly inspired what is probably the most disturbingly romantic scene in the entire Scifi saga I've been writing), "Earth 2077" (an inspiring and uplifting almost Mass Effect sounding song), "I'm Sending You Away" (sorrow and joy wrapped into one crescendo like a hurricane - it doesn't really get interesting until the half way point, but after that, it's beautiful), and of course the title track "Oblivion" featuring Susanne Sundfor (which I didn't love when I first heard it in the credits, but it quickly grew on me when I blasted it in my headphones for 3 days straight. I've never heard anything quite like it. It is amazing. I also plan to make a Dragon Age video to it someday - weird choice, I know, but for me, it works.)

Phew! This could have been a blog just about the soundtrack. Obviously it's one of the things that makes this movie (as any movie) great, but there is still more to a movie than the music, so that can't be it either.

Maybe it's the cinematography. Claudio Miranda's use of light and the color choices in this movie are brilliant, making Oblivion a feast for not just the ears, but the eyes as well. Most of the movie has a sort of grayish tone, except for certain key moments, which are ablaze with color. It connects you subconsciously to what is happening at those moments. I didn't even notice it until probably my third time watching, and I love it when a movie can pull that kind of visual subtlety off. 

Or, maybe it's the editing. As a video editor myself, I get so mad at movies when they don't change a shot or scene to the music. Sometimes lazy editing can even ruin a whole movie for me. But I didn't notice it with this movie. And again, about the third time watching it, I began to notice how fluidly and seamlessly the scenes and shots changed to the music, thanks to Richard Francis-Bruce, and how the music reflected what was happening in the scene perfectly.

But I'm getting back into music now. Ahem. Moving on... 

I know what it's not. It's not the fact that Tom Cruise stars in the movie. No offense to him or anyone that likes him, but he's never been my favorite actor. In fact, I'll often opt out of seeing a movie just because he's in it. However, I think this is probably the best role he's ever played. He was so convincing in the part that I was able to forget I was watching Tom Cruise and really believe he was the character. And the rest of the cast is amazing in this film, especially Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough. Both ladies have such emotion and believability in their faces, and even in their eyes. It really helps you connect to what their characters are going though.

But still, it's not my favorite cast. None of my favorite actors or actresses are in this film. So what is it?

Maybe it's the thought-provoking quotes throughout the film. Some of my favorites (hopefully without giving too much away) are "It's our job not to remember... Remember?" and "It's just a machine... I'm the weapon." As well as a line near the end that says "Everybody dies... The thing is to die well." And a beautiful quote from the very end of the film "If we have souls, they are made of the love we share - undimmed by time, unbound by death." 

The movie also borrows a quote from Macaulay's depiction of Horatius in "Lays of Ancient Rome" which is probably the most repeated and most popular quote from the movie - "And how can a man die better, than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods." 

All of these quotes not only make the movie gripping and believable, but get you to think about the meaning of life and why we are here. Our purpose. Both as individuals, and as a species. This movie sparked some really great conversation between my husband and myself, and when we showed my mother in law, she was still bringing it up days later. It's the kind of movie that sticks with you, and I think a large part of the reason for that is quotes like this, and the writing in general.

Speaking of the writing, this movie also has some great plot twists, which I always love in movies (it's one of many reasons Shyamalan is my favorite writer/director - and no, he didn't work on this movie - Oblivion was written and directed by Joseph Kosinski). It leaves you speechless, wondering what happened after the events of the movie, and again, contemplating the meaning of life and all that jazz. 

But as good as the writing is, it's not just that either. Maybe it's a combination of all of these elements together that makes me love this movie so much. That, and the underlying message, which I also think every good movie should have. Whether it's accessible to the average viewer's mind or not, a good film always has a message. You feel it tugging at you deep inside, urging you to live your life to the fullest, to strive for greatness, to be a better person. Oblivion does that. I personally think the underlying message has to do with the government and media trying to control us and strip us of our humanity, which if you haven't noticed yet, they are slowly but surely succeeding at. 

Some say the underlying message in this film is Scientology related, since Tom Cruise is in it, but I'm not so sure. And NO, I am not a Scientologist. Nowhere near it. I just think there is much more to this movie than that. I think that at its core, it's trying to do the exact opposite of controlling the viewer's mind. I think it's trying to open the viewer's mind to the notion that there ARE forces out there trying to control us, and I think it's urging us to take a stand against those forces and fight to keep our humanity intact.

But don't take my word for it. If you haven't yet, see it for yourself. You will either love it or hate it, but either way, you will be forever changed by Oblivion. Whether you know it or not. ;) 






Stay Frosty, 



Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fairytale In Red (Malukah Remix)


I first heard Malukah's angelic voice when she posted her very first Skyrim cover on Youtube a couple years back, and since then, I've become hooked. Then a couple months ago when I heard her original song "Reignite" (inspired by and including clips from one of my favorite game series "Mass Effect") I knew she was a star. She has become just that among gamers all over the world, and rightfully so. 

I commented on her Reignite video saying something like "Keep writing songs. That is where your true power lies." THEN I discovered that she had released a whole CD of original songs under her real name Judith de los Santos, called "All of the Above" and what do you know, I was right - her original songs are in my opinion even better than her covers. She puts so much emotion into everything, and this album is no exception. The sound is masterfully produced and the lyrics are surprisingly brilliant. 2 of my favorites from the album are "Covered in Red" which has that dark intensity I always look for in music, and "Fairytale" which weaves words together in a mind-blowingly impressive way. 

The 2 songs seem to have a similar theme, as well as similar notes (each of them still standing alone as separate songs though) so I had the idea to try mixing these 2 songs together. I used "Fairytale" as the base (it plays the whole time) and added clips of "Covered in Red" over it (it's quiet but it's there - I would have made it louder but the drums would have clashed). Mind you, I don't have the best equipment to do stuff like this with, but hey, I tried. And my husband tells me that despite my lack of good equipment it still sounds like one fluid song, which is a huge compliment coming from him (he tells me the truth whether it's ugly or not) so, I hope you guys will like it too! 

 

Screenshot from "Fairytale In Red" (animation)

They say all musicians are capable of hearing 2 songs in their mind at once, and I've always been able to do that. As a result of this bizarre talent, I've been wanting to mix songs together for a few years now (even made a list - lost it since then but it's quickly growing again - this will be the first of many mixes), but I never actually tried it until now. And Malukah was the one I wanted to mix music from first, since that first project is always so special, and Malukah is also so special. Her covers alone have helped me through some pretty hard times, especially "Reignite" (which also got me through beating Dragon Age: Origins for the first time) and not only does she have this amazing talent, but she is one of the sweetest people you'll ever encounter. She always takes the time to reply to people online (which is quite the feat considering how many people interact with her every day) and it amazes me how humble she still is. The following wasn't even in reply to anything, which I thought was awesome of her.


Via Google+


Anyway, since I'd already talked to her a few times, I felt like I needed to ask her permission before uploading this mix. So, I sent her an email and crossed my fingers, not wanting to get my hopes up. To pass the time until I heard from her, I tweeted things such as this to get people excited: 



And I think it worked ;)



Then, to my surprise, Malukah said yes! I was happier than a kid on Christmas morning, and it definitely showed in my posts on Twitter. LOL. And @MarsAmee (a mutual fan) was pretty excited too, which was awesome ;)



I quickly got to work finalizing the project, making a simple lyric video (to clarify which parts I used where) and even adding some animation (which is apparently MUCH harder than it looks) and finally, after much blood, sweat, tears of frustration & tears of joy, staying up until 5am for 3 nights in a row, working on it for most of my birthday (today - New Years Eve), 34 Movie Maker files and over 520 Photoshop files, I'm happy to finally say IT IS FINISHED! I know it's not perfect, but I hope it will showcase her music in a fresh new way and attract even more fans for this amazing musician and wonderful person. :)

 
Screenshot from "Fairytale In Red" (animation)


If you haven't heard the album "All of the Above" you can check it out at Malukah.Com - I recommend listening to each song on its own before listening to the mix. I also recommend checking out her Youtube if you haven't yet. Get over there and see what you've been missing! 


Anyway, enough rambling. Here it is. My mix and lyric video of these 2 amazing songs (I've also combined the titles of the songs to get "Fairytale In Red") - Hope you like it! 



I'd suggest headphones & full-screen. Just saying.


So, there you have it. Remember, this was my first time mixing 2 songs together, and also my first attempt at actual animation. So be gentle with me, but let me know what you think! I loved making this, and I hope I get to collaborate with Malukah (again) in the future. I think this arrangement would make for a great duet (might have to try that if Malu and I are ever in the same town LOL) and I already have a little something in mind (actually kind of a BIG something) for a possible future project with her if she's up for it. Hint: The song in the credits. ;) 

Whatever the future holds, I feel brilliance on the horizon. New year, new passion. I'm so excited to bring you more stuff like this :) If you like it, please subscribe to the channel and also to my channel where I'll be posting some future stuff like this too. 

Happy New Year! 

 Be The Lightning ;)

}i{

UPDATE:


Here is Malukah's sweet and thoughtful response to the blog and the mix: 



   Thanks Malu :)


}i{



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Introverts & Extroverts - A Love Letter


This is a love letter from introverts everywhere to the extroverts in their lives. I say love letter because it's written with love, and the pure intention to help those around us understand who we are, and how we interact as introverts. This is not meant to be hurtful, only helpful. So open your mind and enjoy! 

First, let me explain introverts and extroverts the best way I know how, for anyone out there who might not know what these terms mean. 

Introverted people tend to be more shy and socially withdrawn. They think about everything, and sometimes they think about what to say for so long that they miss the opportunity to say it. They function much better in one-on-one situations than in a group setting.

Extroverts, on the other hand, thrive from being around lots of people, and from being the center of attention. They usually speak before thinking and they don't like to be by themselves for long.

The main difference between introverts and extroverts is where they get their energy from. Extroverts get their energy from being in crowds of people, while introverts get their energy from alone time. It's not a downfall for either type of person, it's just how their batteries recharge.

It helps to think of extroverts as having an extremely wide peripheral vision, so to speak. They are wide open and can focus on many things, conversations and relationships simultaneously. And it helps to think of introverts as having tunnel vision. They are much more focused on one thing at a time, and one person at a time. When there is too much going on around them, or too many different things to devote their attention to, they can literally become physically drained.

I am an introvert. I used to think there was something wrong with me. Family, peers, and teachers all used to make me believe that I had to be loud and full of energy to function in this world. But when I discovered recently that this is just part of my personality, my eyes opened up. I now know I'm not the only one. I'm not alone. Since then, I've done a lot of research on the topic, and I've come up with what will hopefully be a helpful tool for extroverts to use on their journey to connecting with closed off and reserved introverts.

Please note that I am also a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) so forgive me if some of the things I say lean more toward this spectrum of introversion. I'll try and stay away from it if I can. There will be a link at the end of this blog that explains HSP's more. In the mean time, I'll get back to it...

Unfortunately, introverts and extroverts often clash because of their different personalities. The only reason for this clash is that neither understands the other. I want to try and change that, if I can.

The following is not meant to be cruel or biased, and is only from an introvert's point of view because that is the side of the line I happen to fall on. 

If you are an extrovert living or working with an introvert, these tips to a successful conversation may come in handy:

***

   DON'T:  

 Judge us. 
Most people can tell when they are being judged. Most introverts are much more sensitive to it and can actually feel the insincerity from someone who's judging them. So the first thing you need to do is accept the fact that we are different (everyone is), and there's nothing wrong with that. This goes for introverts as well!

Ignore us.  
When we speak, it usually isn't very loud. We tend to be shy and withdrawn when we speak. I don't know why this is, but I'm assuming it varies based on the person. Personally, I have learned that I speak quietly because of the fact that I was an only child with a fairly quiet home environment growing up, and I never really learned to raise my voice. I never had the need to. Sure, I can yell if I get pissed off, but I would rather not get to that point. There are other factors that play into why I'm soft-spoken, but that is one of them. When we say something and are ignored, it tends to make us less likely to say anything else for a while, because what's the point? If you can't hear us, that's one thing, but don't just ignore us because you can't understand our quiet speech.

Interrupt us. 
When we do finally build up the courage to speak, all that effort tends to go out the window if we get interrupted. Most times it might just be that you didn't hear us, but still, being interrupted feels like a slap in the face to most introverts, and then we end up back at square one, having to build up the courage to speak again, which will probably take even longer the second time around. 

Ask us to repeat ourselves. 
This is a tricky one because the previous two tips contradict it. If you realize that you've been ignoring us, of course the polite thing is to ask us what we said. Asking us once is great, but repetitive asking is extremely frustrating for many of us. In my case, I've found that my limit is two or three times of repeating myself before I just give up and say "never mind, it's not important." So once you ask for a repeat the first time, that's when the whole not interrupting thing comes into play ;)

***

  DO: 

  Start the conversation. 
 Extroverts love to talk, so why not do it? It will be much easier for you than it will be for us introverts, and it might even break the ice and start a great conversation. It's up to you to get the ball rolling. We're not lazy, and we're not trying to be rude, we're just quiet.

Ask us questions. 
As the extrovert, it is your job to draw us out of our shells by not only starting conversations, but by asking us questions. So if you feel a relationship with an introvert is worth the time and effort, work on it. Engage us. Even if it may not seem like it, most of us love it.

Give us time to respond. 
Introverts think about every little thing before they say it. Most of the time, this is why we don't have much to contribute to a conversation - because by the time we've thought it through enough to say it, the subject has changed. This is especially common in a group conversation. So be patient with us, and understand that we're not slow, and we're not trying to be rude; we're just contemplative. Most introverts have a million things running through their heads at once, and it can take much longer to sort it all out. 

Avoid small talk. 
 I don't know about other introverts, but I personally hate small talk. If the conversation isn't productive, I get bored. If the subject matter isn't deep, I get exhausted. I'm guessing all introverts are like this. We like to get straight to the point, which is one reason we prefer one on one conversations. This is one of many reasons we try to avoid social events and large groups. Too much small talk. But again, I'm just speaking for myself... I think. ;)
 
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None of us should let differences in personality get in the way of our relationships with each other. Some of the best friends and loved ones I've ever known were extroverts. This is because we found the balance between the two extremes. I listened while they talked, allowing them to shine and be the star of the show, and they talked to me, coaxing me out of my shell patiently and respectfully. 

I've always compared introverts and extroverts to the moon and the sun, or shadows and light. You can't have one without the other, and when executed correctly, a relationship between an introvert and an extrovert can be a beautiful thing. I truly believe that introverts and extroverts are MEANT to be the way they are so that they can bring out the BEST in each other, not the worst. We are meant to connect, we just do it differently. 

I hope this helps any extroverts out there connect with the introverts in their lives. Just remember, a little patience and understanding can go a long way.

And, last but not least, be kind to each other. :)

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Here's a great little quiz to help you find out if you're an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between: http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/quiet-quiz-are-you-an-introvert/

If you want to go even deeper, here's a great personality test that has helped my family and me understand each other: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

And if you're an introvert who is more sensitive than others to certain things (like I am), you can take this HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) test: http://www.hsperson.com/pages/test.htm

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I leave you with some screenshots of things introverts say (including myself) from Twitter:



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 "Writing is my salvation. 
It allows me to express myself on a level that I can't verbally. 
It allows me to be heard. Finally, and completely."

(yours truly, on being an introverted writer)


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