Half Way There

Earlier today I made it to the half-way point of my novel while editing. Actually…this is based upon page numbers and not the plot, but I’ve managed to get a good chunk done. My Dad couldn’t understand why I chose to write my novel by hand versus type it up. I just preferred to write this one out on paper. I find that it makes it easier for when I edit.

Not editing my novel while I was writing it was hard at first. I was tempted to go back and change certain scenes for the first while but eventually I got used to the idea of not editing while writing.

I made a change to a scene I’d wanted to scrap since I’d written it out. It had been bothering me since day one. I’m a little happier with the changes I made. There were aspects to the scene that I liked, so I attempted to work around them in order to create a different scene, which still helped move the plot along. It was really hard actually…at one point I thought about giving up on it and moving on to the next chapter. However, I managed to make it work.

Other than that scene, there have been scenes that I wish to add in, which I had either forgotten to include, or thought would be beneficial to add. As for changes being made, it’s mostly been within the dialogue in the more recent chapters I’ve edited. This is because when I had started the novel, the dialogue was extremely formal sounding. I really dislike it…it makes it unnatural. The newer chapters that were written between 2015-2016 have stronger dialogue. At least changing the wording isn’t too difficult. It’s definitely interesting to look at the differences between what I’ve edited and what the original says. Some are very minor differences, but they make a huge impact on the overall atmosphere within a scene. It’s really cool.

Anyways, I’ll be doing some more editing later. Hopefully I’ll finish by my deadline.

Till next time,

–R.

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.

 

Study, Study, Exam, Sleep…bleh…

I’m almost done exams. I’m so glad. I’ve spent the last few days doing review for a course, and I still have yet to study for my final (yikes!) but oh well. I just want to get this over and done with. I have no doubt that I’ll do well on this exam. I’m usually very calm when I have exams…some people find that strange but I’m grateful for it whenever I talk to my friends because I’m able to also put other people at ease a little bit.

It’s always good to have one calm person around when you’re feeling anxious about something. I know that from performing. I usually can pull off a calm appearance, however inside I’m like “Ah! What is this? Why? Why am I up here? All these people are looking at me!”

Despite all my studying I have managed to do some writing, and I’ve read a couple of books as well. I should have been reading books for my one exam but I guess I have all afternoon today and tomorrow morning for that. I really just need to review some authors names and get familiar with certain passages that we discussed in class.

I’m so glad my last two exams are literally 5 minutes from my apartment because I just wanna write, come home and go to bed. I tried to go to bed around 12 am last night, but instead I think I ended up going to bed around 2 am. I watched cartoons until around 1:20 am…and then I lied down on my pillow and thought about random stuff for a while. I couldn’t sleep. It was like my brain was still going over my notes. I was still studying in between theme songs. I used to do that back in my first year of university. I have to say, studying in between commercials and theme songs is effective. It doesn’t feel like you’re studying but when you take a break and do say…30 minutes of review and then take a break and watch something or go for a run, I find you actually remember more than when you try to cram everything in last-minute.

I really don’t feel like putting on jeans or anything to go write an exam. It’s funny cause for my last exam I was…basically dressed to go out somewhere important…this exam is early in the morning. Sweats. All. Day. I’m in the mood to feel comfortable. I would rather just go, write, come home and sleep for a few hours. Trust me…I need the sleep.

Try to imagine studying for an exam in which half of the questions are related to sleep, and or the lack of and you haven’t been sleeping properly. Yah…so I’m gonna get me some proper sleep. I also haven’t had more than one meal a day. I went out for sushi on Monday with my sister and her friend. So I ate that…and then yesterday I made us some steaks for dinner. So in the last two days all I’ve had was steak and sushi. Now…I did eat half of my chocolate bunny that my aunt gave me on the weekend (all the kids got them…even the big kids), but chips for breakfast and lunch is honestly disgusting. I can’t do…I don’t know why I did it. We’re out of milk and bread and eggs…certain things we just don’t need to buy because we’re done for the school year. I really just wanna write this exam. I feel like I should be writing it at this very second.

Other than the little bit of writing I got to do in between studying, I also managed to draw a bit, which was pretty cool. Write now I’m praying that everything goes well. The beginning of the school year was extremely stressful, and I think because of that I ended up slacking off a ton throughout the year. I couldn’t deal with the stress…so there were things that I avoided and I do regret doing so. At the same time, I’m glad I was able to get through all of it. There are people I know who went through some really rough stuff this year and they had a lot of trouble trying to cope. It was too much on them…and thankfully they had people around who were able to be there for them when the time came.

I know that because of my personality, I tend to try to suck it up and hold things in. I get it from my Dad. He and my sister might have similar personalities…to the point where they’re almost the same person but I did adopt that trait. I guess that’s part of why I end up snapping once in a while. People can only handle so much. If I don’t have an outlet then I end up bottling everything inside. Over time I start to feel heavy. If you’ve ever opened up a bottle of pop that’s been shaken, that’s almost what it’s like. Suddenly all of this stuff comes shooting out and there’s no way to stop it…but after a few minutes everything’s calm and it seems as if nothing happened. I guess the only difference between myself and a bottle of pop is that I can clean myself up after I explode. It is definitely one thing I’d like to change about myself, because people assume I’ll just put up with certain things. Usually if I see another person who is being mistreated I get up and say something without thinking…I’ve been like this since I was a kid. However, when it comes to myself I do the whole three strike thing.

Anyway, I’m feeling a lot more…awake now. I’m ready to go and write this exam. I just wanna go in any ace this and then come home and embrace my pillow. I often express my relationship to my pillow when I write about my character who doesn’t sleep…he and I have a lot in common. Besides…well…some stuff I won’t mention since that would spoil the story.

One Down, Two to Go

I managed to get through one exam. Only two more to go. Luckily, I’ve got time to relax for now. Despite the next few days being busy because of Easter festivities, I know I’ll find the time to prepare.

I did some character sketches yesterday that turned out surprisingly well…my last few haven’t. Unfortunately my printer is a jerk and doesn’t let me scan anything when I’m out of ink. I don’t really understand why it does this, but it does. A glitch maybe? I can’t even print if I run out of coloured ink. I’m usually only printing essays off. I don’t use my printer for much else. Oh well….

I’m glad to be finished with that course. I don’t want to add anymore fire to the flame but…let’s just same a few people, had issues with the way we were marked. I don’t need to go into detail.

Welp, I’d better get my stuff ready to go. Definitely going to enjoy being home for a couple of days. Especially since I’ll be seeing some peeps this weekend.

–R

Novel Update

I started editing this morning around 6 am, and managed to get through three more chapters. I still have a lot to go, but my stomach is bothering me so I felt it would be best to take a break. I think that I’m going to have some toast for breakfast, and then do a bit of reading.

I’ve finally had a chance to catch up on books that I’d bought a year or two ago and due to how my schedule was I didn’t have the time to read them. It’s nice being able to read books I actually chose for myself versus assigned readings. Not to say that my professors don’t choose the odd gem, but I’ll be frank (“hi Frank”), the majority of the books I’m forced to read for school I barely get passed the first three chapters. I skim them…sometimes only reading the dialogue or anything that catches my eye. Of course a lot of the books that they choose have almost no dialogue whatsoever. I tend to write a lot of dialogue…my creative writing teachers have said that’s what they like best about my writing. So perhaps that’s why? I just enjoy dialogue…maybe because of all the comic books I read? Who knows. Still, a lot of the books I get assigned are difficult to get into. They’re not very exciting. Sometimes the writing is extremely poetic and gorgeous but despite the words being beautiful the text isn’t saying anything at all. So, being able to read what I want is a nice change.

I just finished reading Tokyo ESP. The amount of references made to superhero’s like Spider-man and Batman is ridiculous, but it made the book more enjoyable. If you’re into manga or graphic novels I definitely recommend it. There’s a flying penguin, how cool is that!? Now I’m reading a novel called The Painted Girls. I’ve read 52 pages so far. I always had the problem of misplacing my bookmarks as a kid…so I taught myself to memorize the page numbers. I know it’s weird. Anyway, I’m really enjoying this book so far. I picked up some more manga at Chapters back on Tuesday. My Nana reserves novels for me that she thinks I’ll enjoy, and I got birthday money and Chapters gift cards so…I’ll be hanging out among the books for a while. Since purchasing The Painted Girls two years ago, and Galore I haven’t spent my money on novels that weren’t for school. I also haven’t had the time to read them. My Nana gave me four novels: three last year and one back in December. I still have to get those read before she gives me the next batch.

She said, “I have some books for you, but they’re adult books.” since I told her I’d finished reading a comic book the day before. I wouldn’t recommend Tokyo ESP to my five-year old niece, but I’m guessing my Nana can’t tell the difference when it comes to comics. My Dad never used to like reading as a kid, and she ended up giving me a bunch of his old comic books. They’re huge by the way. I can’t imagine trying to carry that around with me. I’ve always enjoyed books…that’s why I’ve been writing my own since kindergarten. Although…the things I wrote in kindergarten probably shouldn’t be seen by another human being…they were weird. I wrote about a zombie once…but I spelt zombie like “zoom-bie” and yah…the zoom-bie only wanted some friends. It was basically a four-year olds take on Frankenstein. The illustrations were pretty great.

Since my niece found out that I write books and make videos and music, whenever she comes over she wants to do the same. So, we take some paper, staple it together in the middle and then she says, “You can be the author and I’ll be the illustrator” and tells me what I should write.  She comes up with some interesting stories. Many Disney characters tend to appear in the story. Who knew that Princess Jasmin and Aladdin rode a magic carpet? Apparently we’re also going to start a band because she has a recorder and a ukulele and I have a keyboard and a guitar. I don’t know what we would call our band but…we definitely need some practice. Between the squeaking of my guitar strings and the whistling from her recorder…we’ve created a very…unique sound for our listeners (sorry fam).

I’m so glad I managed to get some writing done this morning. I was starting to worry that I’d end up slacking today because of my stomach. Glad that I didn’t. Maybe I’ll do some more in the afternoon. I’m still a bit tired but I think I need to put something in my belly…it just feels weird. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with what I are last night. I started feeling gross after dinner so…who knows. It annoys me that whenever I’m not feeling well, I want to go for a run. I could go for a run anytime, but whenever I’m like this where my stomach is bugging me or I’ve got a massive headache I want to go on this intense run around the track. I need to lose weight anyway. Despite the fact that I barely eat more than one meal a day. I seriously need to get fit though. I can’t stand being so unhealthy. Of course, Easter is coming up so I’ll be fed all sorts of goodies. I’ll force myself to get fit anyway. I really don’t want to put on anymore weight. I managed to lose some back in December, and at the moment I feel as though I either put some back on or…it just shifted around. I just want to feel healthier. Exercise helps me relax and whenever I’m active I can think clearly. Well, I think I’ll go make something to eat.

Till next time,

–R.

 

Money, School, Life

I’ve realized today that I need to stop spending money. Before my sister moved in with me, I rarely ever went out so I didn’t spend any money unless I needed to buy groceries. Now that she’s living with me I’m ordering food all of the time (which I never did on my own), and I’m going all over the place. My 21st birthday was on Sunday, so I just got some money…and I won’t be working till May. I’m still here for another month and need to buy groceries. Sadly, I don’t want to use my birthday money for groceries because I’m saving that for a weekend trip I have coming up.

I’m usually really good with my money. I’ve never been a big spender…but then suddenly this year I’m always buying food. I don’t know if my spending is entirely linked to my sister moving in, because both of us had a very stressful year. Perhaps I spent more because I was going out to distract myself?

My sister pointed out to me that I should carry my notebooks and binders around with me everywhere like I used to, so I can work on my novels all the time. I wouldn’t mind doing that, except that I wouldn’t want people looking over my shoulder to see what it is I’m working on…and also, I get extremely paranoid when it comes to my binders and sketchbooks. I have to know where they are…and that they’re safe. If I plan on being away for more than a few days, I pack them in my luggage. I don’t know when I became so attached to them. It’s like they’ve become an extension of me. I used to be like this with my old teddy bear…so perhaps I’m just one of those people? I wonder if my future spouse will find this weird….I know my parents do.

I think that my sister understands it a little better. She’s an artist. We’ve been editing her latest work recently. She makes comics. They’re honestly really good. We’re both very critical of each others work (she’s harsher than I am), so having each other edit the first draft is always good. Her stories are funny. She used to share them with her class. Actually she’s won two awards now for her work. Lucky duck. She used to have her friends circle around her while they read her comics and they’d always go “Any updates yet!?” I’m still trying to convince her to share some of her work online. We’ll see. Maybe once she’s finished with her exams. She’s an artist, an athletic and a bio-chem major. Weird combination, I know. We’re both kind of like that though…except I’m not so good at math or science. I read. I’m really good at history…in the sense that I can remember random facts off the top of my head. Whenever I had to write papers for my classes back in high school I’d be told they sounded like stories or poems…which I can’t deny. I’m a creative writer first. Essays I do because I’m asked, not because I enjoy them.

Well, this is all for now. I’m working on my writing schedule, which I’m going to double as an exercise schedule as well. I just want to get into shape before I start working. The weathers just been really cold…I like to exercise outdoors. Especially since the trail is near the river. The scenery is perfect.

–R.

March 26th

As of March 26th, I’m now 21. My family expressed to me how weird it is. Honestly, I feel the exact same as I did when I was 20, 19, 18, 5.

I’m really grateful that they all drove out to see me, since I wasn’t able to come home this year for my birthday. It meant a lot to me since I’ve been really stressed out with school lately.

As of 12 am I completed my final essay of the school year. Now, all I have to do is get through these last two weeks of classes before exams.

Since I have more free time I’ve also decided that since I am 21, I’m going to sit my butt down and get my novel published. I’ve been working on it since I was 17 years old. It’s about time. So, I’m now going to create a writing and editing schedule for myself so that I can get it done quickly. If I work hard enough I should be finished typing out the good copy by Easter (I usually write by hand).

Well until next time,

–R.