5th Blogiversary

My blog is officially 5 years old!

I keep forgetting that it shares a birthday with my sister (well her’s is tomorrow).

I started this blog in 12th grade before I graduated high school…now I’ve graduated again this year. How bizarre is that.

I haven’t been blogging recently which has been bugging me, but every time I’ve had to log onto my computer recently, its to do work. Work. Work. Work. And not my fun work…like…just writing papers and filling out forms kind of work.

I’ve been writing a lot through: creating characters, writing scripts, working on my novel, editing.

I’ve also spent a lot of my free time day dreaming. I spend a lot of time up in my head.

I’d like to get back into the habit of blogging once a week, but like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I like to give updates when I’ve actually gotten a lot of progress done.

Recently I’ve begun writing the second book in my novel series. I’m a little bummed because I had to set it aside for about…two weeks now because I had work. Getting up at 4 am everyday for work is gonna take me some getting used to.

I’m suddenly hungry…and I just ate…sigh.

Anyway, the progress I’ve made so far I’m pretty happy with. I actually made myself laugh out loud while writing, which is good because one of my creative writing professors pointed out that I tend to write really depressing, cold sounding pieces. I’m not a depressing person, I promise.

Yesterday I wrote a song about a chicken…who know one wanted to dance with at the club because he had nasty flow…and…actually it was a pretty depressing song. Thankfully, I’ve never been rejected a dance. Although…I haven’t been to a club since I was 19 (Canada eh) and…it wasn’t much fun. Everyone had to leave because this guy threw up everywhere…plus I’m not much of a drinker…or much of a nightlife person.

Back on topic. Yah, I made myself laugh, and now that I’m older I actually understand new emotions, and I can actually convey things that I wanted to express when I started my novel five years ago.

I’d really, really like to hire an editor but it’s just not in the funds right now. Like…I have $60 to my name. Everything else goes straight to paying for courses right now. School is expensive. I know I’m not going to get a loan from my parents for that…they already feed me. I’m trying to work out some sort of plan for that. I just think it would be easier. Not all of my beta readers are the editing type. Most are just folks who love to read. What is great about them is that they are about to point out plot holes or any inconsistencies within the novel! Thankfully with this final draft of my novel I haven’t heard anything of the sort from them. In my earliest draft…ha…well…I mean…it was five years ago. The feedback I got then really helped me shape my novel into what it is today. If I were to get free editing…it would be from two of my relatives who are big readers, and one who has actually published before. The only thing is that I’m a bit weary of having my work reviewed and edited by my family right now because I don’t want biased feedback. I only know one person in my family who will always be brutally honest with me about my work, and that is my sister. My sister doesn’t kiss butt. My sister doesn’t blindly throw compliments around. My sister gives praise when someone truly earns it, and isn’t shy about giving constructive criticism. That’s why I’ll usually ask her for some quick feedback for a scene or something.

I’ll figure it out…maybe if I put away a portion of my pay every week I’ll be able to afford an editor. I’ve actually been looking around. If I do that, it means I’ll be behind in my publishing schedule though…but at the same time, it allows for me to keep working on my second book in the series so that my readers won’t have to wait too long for the next installment. I know how frustrated I used to get waiting for a new book to be released in a series…and how disappointed I was when authors rushed the writing of them. It’s obvious. Honestly, take it from a reader/writer, DO NOT rush your books. I get that we all need to make money to eat and whatever, but I cannot stress this enough. Your readers know when you’re cutting corners. They know your potential. If they follow you, don’t disappoint them.

Yikes…it’s cold in here.

Well, I’d better get to work…oh joy…it’s alright this work is actually fun. It’s actually character creating work. I’m just a little sleepy is all. I have to spend all evening working on boring stuff…seeing as how I procrastinated that as usual and left it till the last-minute.

Part of me really, really wants to go buy a frozen lemonade from Tim Horton’s despite the weather being all dreary and what not.

I seriously don’t feel well. I don’t know what’s going on with me lately. I keep blaming it on the change in my sleep schedule or not drinking enough water…but I’m praying I feel better soon.  I don’t like to feel under the weather when I’ve got so much on my plate.

Happy blogging everyone,

–R.

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Novel Update

I’ve finally gotten back into working on the second book for my novel that’s currently being edited. It’s fun. I’ve really missed the characters, and I can see how much they’ve developed since the first chapter of the first book.

Originally I was going to write and publish the series as one big book, but I was instructed (thankfully) by my Dad to split them up…because the book would be enormous and who knew how long it would take for me to complete a three part book. So now the book is a three part series…or trilogy…or whatever you wanna call it. It’s less stressful.

I always told myself, after reading a few trilogies…which disappointed me…that I would only write them if it was planned from the start. It was very clear to me when an author only intended on having a single book, but was pushed by publishing companies to write more novels featuring their characters to help bring in big bucks.

I didn’t want to be that author who lets down their readers because I was writing for money. I write because I enjoy it. I started writing for myself, without any specific audience in mind. Now I try to think about my audience a little bit.

Once my novel is published I might share some of my character illustrations, but I personally don’t like to see cover art where there are people on the front. It really bothers me. I like to imagine what the characters look like based off of the descriptions given. I’ve done illustrations of pretty much all my characters…that I’ve ever had. I’ve debated creating graphic novel versions of some of my work. I may do it. I may not. We’ll see.

I’m still playing around with cover ideas in my head. I’m not going to attempt to do the cover art myself. I’m good at art…but I’ve never done that sort of thing and I didn’t go to graphic design school. I just finished my English degree…all I did was read.

Speaking of reading, have any of you seen this manga I bought recently. The illustrations were breath taking and I bought it for my birthday…and somehow while I was moving I misplaced it. I’m pretty bummed out.

I’m supposed to be going to some free thing at the gym today. Not really up for it. My Mom was hassling me to go outside and enjoy the weather…but instead I stayed in and translated then covered this extremely awesome Russian song.

Enjoy the sunshine!

–R.

 

 

Review Anxiety

I don’t know what else to call it. I’m just a student, but I’d say this feels a lot like leaving your new baby in the care of someone else for the first time.

It’s not the first time I’ve let other read my work and give me feedback, but it is the first time in a very, very long time. I’m anxiously waiting to know what they think…and praying that they like it.

It’s hard to share your writing with people, and it doesn’t get easier over time. Some times you become more comfortable with the person you’re sharing your work with, but even then it can be terrifying.

When I handed over my manuscript I wanted to vomit. I suppose the timing is a bit weird since I’m also pretty stressed out because of school still but whatever. Life is full of transitions and trials. It’s one thing after another.

While you’re waiting for your feedback it can be helpful to occupy yourself with another project. Keep writing!

–R.

Novel Update

I finished. I finished the first round of editing, and transferred my novel from paper and pencil, to the lovely Times New Roman font on my laptop. It took a long time to type that up…from December 23rd, 2016 until October 13th, 2017.

My goal now is to do a complete read through of the hardcopy, which I printed off and stuffed into a binder I hijacked from my sister. I want to finish reading it all today. If I can do that, then that’s awesome. If not, that sucks but I’ll get it done. I’m in the last leg of the race here, I don’t want to start slacking off.

I was motivated to finish it, and I did. It felt so good watching it come out of the printer. Fresh ink. I ran out of paper twice. I didn’t care. I’m really pleased with myself. It’s been such a long time since I’ve actually completed one of my projects. I feel like I’ll have finally broken the pattern that began back in high school, with this novel. I’m going to finish the things I start from now on. There’s no reason for me to put things off.

Well…I’d better start reading. I haven’t eaten anything yet today and I barely slept last night but I don’t care. I’m so pumped. I did jumping jacks while this baby was printing. I’d kiss it but I don’t wanna be creepy.

My folks already find it weird that I carried the rough draft around with me and clutched onto it…and yelled at people for tossing my bag around whenever it was in there…and all the barking and hissing I did whenever anyone went into my room and moved my stuff….

Anyway, I’m going to get to work…and I’ll have a snack or something too. Ha…that’s probably a good idea.

Till next time,

–R.

(The following didn’t post for some reason…I apologize).


I’ve now edited several chapters…I believe 11. So I’m getting there. Since schools gotten really busy for me, I’ve set my goal to have the entire thing edited by the end of next week. I have no classes next week, so I’ll have lots of time to read and edit.

–R.

Novel Update

Editing has been going well lately. I’m nearly finished my first round of edits! I’d like to do at least three.

The amount of notes I’ve left myself over the last couple of weeks regarding work, school and…whatever else continues to grow, but I’m still at a point where I can manage. At least the work I’m doing is something that I enjoy. As my Dad said, “If you enjoy it, it isn’t really work.” Hopefully soon I can turn the things I enjoy into something profitable. Gotta pay off those student loans at some point.

I’ve got a couple of things that I’d like to get done today…a few assignments that I need to get started on, some cleaning. I seem to clean up around here every weekend. This place gets messy pretty fast. Students are always too busy for “tedious” things like cleaning…apparently. I’m a bit squeamish so I try to clean up after myself. Other peoples messes are not my problem…even if they bug me. As long as my space is clean I have somewhere I can escape to when the kitchen looks like thirty people live in our apartment. I swear…something…something in that sink smells.

Whenever I write for characters around my age I start laughing because sometimes my own thoughts bleed into the narration. I have characters who are in their early 20s, living with roommates and trying to cope with the many responsibilities of adulthood. So when I write about them stepping on weird squishy rotting fruit in the kitchen…it’s because this stuff actually happens on a day-to-day basis. I usually end up laughing my head off when I write those kind of scenarios. I usually try not to base characters off of people I know, however you gotta draw inspiration from somewhere. Even if it is your…dirty kitchen that smells like rotting milk. I can’t figure out where that smell is coming from!? If people would just wash their dishes we wouldn’t have this problem. Like, bruh there is a dishwasher! How do you have three weeks worth of dishes in the sink?

I hope my roommates never find this blog post. They’re great guys honestly, but I just…the smell is so bad! I don’t know how to describe it exactly…rotting milk with like a mixture of…I don’t know…moldy…fruit? Like when the fruit gets all fluffy and stuff. That kinda moldy.

It’s sad…when you live at home your parents tell you when stuff needs to be thrown out. When you live alone you kind of just open your fridge and go, “Hey, I forgot I made stir fry…when did I make this again? Oh…oh God…oh that’s…nope…nope uh…Lord help me….trash…sink…I think it’s moving!”

Anyway, I’d better go. Places to go. Things to do.

Enjoy your weekend.

–R.

Insanity by Lucas King

Occasionally I play this song when doing sketches of a character of mine, whom you’ll meet someday soon. I haven’t had the chance to write his story recently. Usually I write it when I’m having trouble sleeping. I promise you he isn’t crazy…at least…not yet.

Ha…I’m just teasing. I’m sure he doesn’t mind that I haven’t finished his story yet. It’s getting sad. I do think about him when I hear songs like this one. I feel as if I’ve doomed the boy…and he isn’t even real. Well, he’s real enough to me. I created him.

It’s a strange thing, being an author. You create these people…and with one swift movement their lives are altered in ways that they can’t even imagine. They have no control over what is going to happen next…and sometimes it feels as though the author has lost control as well. Sometimes the story’s end up writing themselves.

Part of me hopes that this young mans story won’t be tragic. I wonder if I’m avoiding it, because I know what is to come. He has some notion of what will happen next, that’s for sure. Still…it’s hard to say how it will end.

–R.

Book Update

The illustrations are coming along nicely. We’re aiming to have them all complete by the end of the month.

In the meantime we’re thinking about our marketing strategies. Creating a business plan can be a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it. It’s better to know what you’re going to spend, and how much you plan on making on your return. Everything needs to be taken into consideration. I was lucky enough to come across someone who could provide me with a template to work off of. I’m also lucky as my Dad has a copy of the business plan he made up years ago. It made it a lot easier when trying to format everything and work out the numbers.

I know that it may seem like a pain in the butt to do, but it’s something that you should be doing. Writing is a business, where one can be their own boss. The reason why some people fail when they’re self-employed is because they skipped the planning process and decided to jump into something without calculating the risks.

Anyway, enough business talk. I’m going to try to prepare some breakfast…although I’m a little unsure as to what I want to eat today.

Till next time,

R.

Revisiting Old Books

I did a little bit of cringing today, while looking at my old writing. My sister told me it really wasn’t that bad…and I do agree, for the time it was good. The stories I told were engaging, it was merely the old idea I had, where I thought I had to use sophisticated words in my writing. I didn’t use the words incorrectly (thank God), however it gets pretty annoying after a while…like…people don’t actually talk like that.

Oh well…I’d better go. I have some editing I need to do.

Books, Editing, Books.

So last night I wrote my final exam of the school year. Thank God. I was ready to be done with my courses back in March. It felt like the year just kept dragging on.

Now that that’s over with I now have time to edit my novel and work on my own projects. My goal is to complete this first edit by next week. I’ve already finished a good chunk, and I figure if I create a schedule I’ll be able to finish by then.

Setting deadlines for myself is extremely helpful, because when I first began writing I couldn’t stop. It was as if no matter what I had to write. Ever since I put my first novel on hold, I’ve been writing in a more…staggered pattern. Usually bouncing between projects, or suddenly choosing to do work out of the blue. It may also have to do with the fact that I’m an English major and I’m being forced to read and write versus doing it because I find it enjoyable.

I’ve recently been asked if I’ve been compiling a list of beta readers and editors. At this time I have a very rough idea of people, however it isn’t set in stone. I decided early on that I wouldn’t ask until I was satisfied with my own edits. Once that’s done I’ll let other people review it.

My Mom attempted to peak at my writing during Easter. I don’t believe I have ever shown her my writing. I’m not sure if it is her taste, and also she tends to prefer reading non-fiction. I think I’ll let her read this novel…since honestly it is a hundred times better than the six book series I’d been working on back in the day…yikes.

Anyway, at this point in time I feel like I’m in the very early stages of editing. I’m trying to tweak the first half of the novel which was written in 2013 to fit my current writing. It can be a little tricky at times, because there are sentences I really like and then there are sentences that I completely tear apart and rearrange. I think when I had started the novel I was trying to work on being more descriptive. This was before I realized that I really enjoy writing dialogue, and began using that to push the story along versus dragging out scenes where I described the colour of the wall. Don’t get my wrong, I don’t dislike lengthy descriptions but unless describing the scene is significant to that particular passage I don’t see a point in making my readers go through “Charles Dickens–like” descriptions.

I’m not bashing Charles Dickens, I just scored one of his novels the other day for only a buck. I have a little collection of his work. Oliver Twist is still my favourite so far, but it might just be because I used to rent Oliver and Company from the library every Friday with my Mom when I was in kindergarten. Those were the good old days. How did my parents not see this coming? I mean, I preferred reading Curious George and Cat in The Hat over going to my swimming lessons. I’ve had a journal since the first grade. I started writing stories when I was like five years old…very interesting ones. Mostly about animals…and occasionally “zoom-bies” but hey, we all start somewhere.

Not to mention my Nana is a book lover, and so are my aunt and uncle on my Dad’s side. I’ve been exposed to people who love to read, and my Dad shares the same name as a well known author (yes he’s been asked to sigh books before).

Yah…how did they not see this? Then again it was my neighbour who told them to put me into music. I Guess the only thing they really noticed was my love for drawing. My Nana actually made a scrap book of drawings I made as a little kid. They’re not terrible.

Well…I have a few things I’d like to do this morning. They’re not exactly work related but I just wrote an exam last night I want to relax for a bit, before I decide to suddenly jump into editing. I’ll probably do a few chapters this afternoon. I also want to do a bit of sketching this weekend.

Well bye for now,

–R.

 

You Feel Me?: Conveying Emotion in My Work

At the moment, I am currently working on an essay.

andieheeeelp

“Where did all this homework come from!” (Image from Golden Time).

 

Fun right? Well, the information I’m gathering is kind of interesting. I also think my topic and thesis are cool…so that’s a start.

I did update my novel the other day with a really humorous chapter. I don’t think I’ve ever actually laughed that much while writing. I don’t know if it was because it was late at night and I was tired, or because it was actually funny. I’d like to think it was actually funny. I’ll find out when I edit later.

Whenever I actually feel what I’m putting down, I know that I’ll be satisfied with the final product. That’s why I don’t like to write about things I don’t know about…it isn’t that I refuse to do so, but I feel like it isn’t genuine and I don’t like to force emotion into my writing. I want the emotion to be real. If I’m not feeling anything, then I don’t think it is worth keeping. It took me a lot of trial and error when writing romance between characters when I first started.

3dgirls

(Quote from 2D-Kun. Golden Time).

 

I know that there are some twelve and thirteen year olds out there who are in relationships, and claim to know everything there is to know about love. I wasn’t one of those kids. I’m not afraid to admit to it. I had people I liked, but I’d never dated anyone. My first experience with heartbreak was when I was sixteen…and it wasn’t because I was dumped.

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“Boo hoo! My heart hath been broken!” (Found on Google).

 

I wasn’t in a relationship at all.

its-not-u-its-me

“Stop. Get some help.” (Image From Golden Time).

It was that experience that opened my eyes to this flaw in my writing. I stopped trying to write about those types of intimate relationships, because I finally had some understanding of how they actually worked. Instead I wrote what I knew. I knew about liking someone, but not wanting to ruin my friendship with them. I knew what heartbreak felt like, and realized that I am capable of jealousy…an emotion I hadn’t truly felt before to that degree. When I started to write the things I knew, I was actually feeling the emotion in my words.

unnamed - Copy

I didn’t have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to write about these things because I understood the feelings I wanted to convey. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to write about different aspects of relationships. Either things I’ve experienced, or that people close to me have gone through. Sometimes, I’ll admit, using another persons experience is difficult but it is still better than trying to conjure up some plastic emotion that you have no clue what to do with.

zonedout

Boo from Monsters Inc.

 

Just because you write fiction doesn’t mean that you can’t be honest.

 

Anyway, I’d better get going. I still have a few more articles to look at.

Till next time,

–R.