Inktober

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I don’t usually share my drawings on here, but this is a really quick sketch I did of my niece sitting by the river. I know…that river looks great.

Last year I did themed character drawings for different months and holidays. I have one where I did a costume party, and what outfits my characters might where. It was really fun. Two of them dressed up as Mario and Luigi. I like to draw my character’s wearing shirts with aliens, or Nintendo characters. Depends on their personality. I like giving them wild hair colours too, like blue or fire truck red or green. I’ve just been doodling on my notes recently, so I don’t have many new drawings to show off haha…but I’ll work on some here and there.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your day.

–R.

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Updates

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve done an update. The illustrations for my book are coming along well. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

As for my other work, I’m still editing away. When I’m not editing I’m either doing concept art for a project of mine, or I’m working.

I’m about to start a new job after the Canada Day long weekend. I guess the day I start is a holiday in the United States. I’m pretty excited about this job. I mean, yah, I’ll be working two jobs for the remainder of the summer but I need the money. School isn’t cheap.

I’m seriously excited about finishing this book. I really want people to see the artwork! It’s fantastic.

Well, I’m going to attempt to do a bit of concept art today. Tomorrow is a holiday so I’m going to be trying to do stuff today so that I’m not scrambling to work tomorrow morning before any festivities.

I was actually going to share some of my art today but I realized when I logged into my computer that I didn’t scan the pictures I wanted to show…only character designs. I’d rather show people what my characters look like when the book is released.

Hope everyone’s having nicer weather than I am.

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.

 

You Feel Me?: Conveying Emotion in My Work

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

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“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.

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(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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

Hello Nanowrimo/Writing Updates

I will be posting a lot more writing updates this month as it is Nanowrimo (hooray!).

So, for my first update I recently did some character designs for a novel that I’m working on. I’d only attempted to draw these characters once before, which was months ago. I’m definitely satisfied with my current take on them. I actually put them in Halloween costumes since I drew the most recent one near the end of October.

As for my other projects I made the decision to redo the illustrations for my children’s book. This was kind of a last minute decision, but I want to be satisfied with my work and I wasn’t happy with how the other drawings turned out. They didn’t really come to life the way I’d wanted them too. I also am taking a children’s literature course right now, and after looking through a lot of the illustrations in these children’s books I just found that the first ones I did were…almost lazy, and in reality the images should draw more attention…they should be more animated. So, back to the rough sketches for round two. Hoping they’ll turn out the way I want them. Once the illustrations are to my liking, I’ll be publishing.

With the rate I’m going at with my novels, the children’s book will most likely come out first…which is completely opposite of what I thought. Originally the book I’d started like…three years ago, I thought I’d be publishing first. As for the one I did character designs for, I hadn’t even planned on extending it into a novel. It began as a short story. So…sometimes things don’t always go according to plan, but I feel like everything has lined up nicely.

Well, those are my updates for now. More are to come. I don’t know if I’ll post them daily or weekly, but whenever I update I will do my best to inform you all.

It’s midnight, so I’d better go to sleep. I’ve dedicated tomorrow to doing chores and homework before my class…so…yah. Hopefully I can squeeze in some writing while I’m waiting for my laundry but you know…homework is a thing. I have to get it done eventually.

Keep writing!

— R.

Welcome to November!

I’m grateful for the week I had off from classes, because without it I feel as though I’d be a complete mess right now. I just kept saying to myself, “It’s almost reading break. It’s coming. The end is near. Just three essays, two exams and you’re free!” and somehow I managed to survive.

I kept getting sick during that time. I think I was so stressed and overwhelmed that my body began to react. I had constant headaches, and nausea. Never happened to me before…but after all of the stuff I’ve been through since last April…boy. I’m lucky I didn’t just snap and tear my hair out.

I managed to do a lot of writing and artwork over the break. I even got to work on my music, which was a lot of fun. I enjoy goofing around with my piano and guitar when I think no one is home…my sister screamed, “Shut up!” after about fifteen minutes. I was jokingly singing Chandelier…but it turned into a screamo edition and I sang “I want to screeeeeeam!” instead of “I want to swing.”

Anyway, you probably didn’t need to know that but basically I’m doing a lot better. I don’t feel like I’m a zombie anymore, I haven’t had any nausea or headaches, and things have been a lot less stressful back home. Plus, now school is settling down a bit…it’ll be busy again in a week or two but at least right now I can pace myself and get my head in the right place.

I guess I’d never been so stressed out in my life. I let it all build up from April. I refused to let myself crack…and then finally I just broke down. Which sucks because here and there I was finding myself slowly crumbling after trying to build myself back up. That’s why I’m glad that I had a week where I didn’t have to worry so much about school, or friends or anything and I could just catch up on sleep, draw and write and relax. I needed that break. I know if I had kept trying to push myself I’d have completely shut down. I usually try to be a very optimistic person but that side of me just vanished. I feel a lot more like myself these days. I’m goofing around with my friends again, I’m reading in my spare time (even though all I do is read for class), and I’ve set some goals for myself that I’d like to meet by my last exam date in December.

So, November I welcome you with open arms. I’m in good spirits despite the cold weather and the rain. Although I tend to write a lot of very depressing poetry in the winter (according to my creative writing professor), I will try to write something…warm and fuzzy. Not corny. Warm and fuzzy. Like…a nice blanket or a fluffy animal or some sort.

This was longer than usual.

Till next time,

— R.

 

Break

I just finished my midterm exams, and I’m now on my long-awaited break. I’ve seriously needed this…I’ve been under so much stress lately, it’s been effecting my health. Now I have this time at home to catch up on sleep, do my homework and get myself back into my usual schedule. I’m just glad that I was able to write my exams without completely losing it. I haven’t slept well in about four weeks….these last two nights I’ve slept like a baby.

So, I’ve been doing character designs recently for one of the novels I’ve been working away at. I’ve found it really relaxing lately, as I was so focused on writing essays I didn’t really get the chance to do any of my own work.

Anyway, I’ll try to post some more while I’m home. Hopefully I start to feel better. My stomachs been bugging me all week…not sure why. I did have a fever a while back and some people said that it hits you, and then the bug comes back once you think its gone…so I’m just praying that it isn’t coming back because I’d really like to do something this week other than lie in bed.

Till next time,

— R.

The Fall

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The Fall, O. Ryder. Sept 26th, 2016.

The Fall

By O. Ryder

I realized that I didn’t own a hairdryer when my sister’s wet towel brushed against my skin last night. It was cold. It soothed the pain in my bear arms but I moved it away, onto her lap. Whenever someone wore a towel on their head I imagined the Virgin Mary.

“It’s cold.”

She looked at me, big eyes glaring. “I just washed my hair.” Always glaring.

In that moment I felt stupid. Glaring eyes often made me feel as though I’d done something stupid.

Always glaring. Always stupid.

I felt uneasy as she pressed her back into my pillow. The olive green towel reminded me of my sweater: how it hung on her and how her gold strands clung to it as she rested against me.

I wasn’t attracted to blondes, I told myself. She was pretty but plain. I liked dark hair. I liked dark hair and warm eyes. No glaring. Never glaring.

My sister elbowed me. Woke me from my trance. Told me Dad wanted to talk.

My eyes left the green and my hands found the phone. I wondered why I had been in such a daze. Wet hair was soft, I thought. I haven’t worn that sweater in a long time.

I talked. He talked. He hung up.

Whenever we spoke lately he felt as though he was keeping me away from something. I just had trouble finding things to talk about. I wanted to hear warmth in his voice.

Everything died in the Fall. The plants, the insects, Granddad. Even some of the Angels died in the Fall.

Love blossomed in the Fall, but made me feel dead.

I was not fond of the weather. It was deceiving. Deceiving Canadian Fall.

The weather was as schizophrenic as our identity. Some said they felt it was bipolar…perhaps…perhaps.

Always glaring. Always falling. Always stupid. Always dead.

I wondered how anyone could rest their head in such a messy room. It smelt of burnt popcorn, wet towels and cologne.

And those golden strands had smelt like summer.

She was the Summer. I the Fall.

For once I had fallen, she had fled. As the warmth does when death comes.

She was Life. I Death.

Despite wishing, I represented the end.

“I love this sweater.” she said.

I said nothing.

She wrapped her fingers in mine. It felt uncomfortable.

“Wanna cuddle?”

I remembered the wet green towel. My sister was asking for the phone back. I placed it in her hand. I watched the television. You could get lost in the television. No thoughts. Always glaring. Always stupid. Always wishing.

A Very Long Update

So I recently moved back into my apartment…and have been a bit stressful. First we had no power, and when I left on Friday we had no internet access. Great right? Somehow I’ve managed to stay as optimistic as I possibly can. I mean, because the library isn’t too far. I can just print off my homework and such there.

It’s nice that I was able to come home this weekend and visit with my family. Although this visit wasn’t exactly planned. My parents didn’t expect to see me until October, however there was a bunch of stuff that needed to be dealt with at home. So a nice long three hour bus ride and I’m back to my tiny bed, in my tiny room, with my piano, guitar and row of tiny pointless soccer trophies.

Despite the situation at my apartment my classes have been going well so far. I mean, I’ve only been going at it for a week. I’m pretty bummed out that one of my friends were unable to come to school this year, but I only have to government to blame for that. I live in one of the most “educated” countries in the world and yet the majority of the people are in so much debt after they finish university that they spend the rest of their lives trying not to drown in debt.

I’m almost done my undergraduate. Its pretty weird to think about. Like, here I am on this teeny tiny budget, almost finished my degree, single and seriously not looking forward to returning to my previous summer job. I can survive on my tiny budget for a while. I don’t eat much, nor do I spend a lot of money. I also have a gift card so I’m able to purchase a lot of my books using that. Actually…my sister and I have been getting by lately solely on our collection of gift cards. So thank you to all those lovely folks who gave us gift cards for Christmas and such. You’re all fantastic!

Seriously though, gift cards for the movies, for books, for clothes, for restaurants. With all these gift cards I can entertain, clothe and feed myself for around $25 and I don’t have to spend any of my hard earned money. All I have to worry about is paying rent.

I suppose a writing update is in order. I’ve currently put my book on hold until next month, just because I don’t want to try to publish it while I’m getting settled back into my school routine. But yah, getting ready for publishing. That’s exciting. My parents have been waiting since…April ha, ha. My other books are all going very well. If I feel stuck on one book I work on another. Doesn’t matter if I’m researching, planning, illustrating. I just have to be doing something art related. I’m not sure how many copies of my first book I’m going to publish or what sort of route I want to take. I’ve looked at all sorts of things with my Dad, and I’m doing my best to figure out the best plan for myself.

So once it is published, then I’ll probably make a really hyper-excited post about it. However right now I feel super drained…so I probably sound kind of blah. I went to bed earlier than usual, but I think I burnt myself out earlier in the week and now it’s catching up to me. I guess I could technically try to lay back down or a bit, but my parents said we were hitting the road early morning. I always assume that early morning is around seven or eight? Apparently its like eleven to everyone else in my family.

Alrighty then. Well, I’ve wanted to post something for weeks now and I finally was able to…since I have power and access to the web. I would’ve blogged at the library but I get a little shy writing around other people…or drawing. I can doodle and write poetry on my stuff no problem but that’s when I’m confident no one is paying any attention to me. If I’m one of those people who doesn’t like being hovered over while I work. Been that way since I was a little kid. I like my space.

Okie, dokie. I will let you all know how the publishing process goes once I begin that. Should be exciting. In the meantime, I’ve got to double check that I put all my homework back into my backpack.

Till next time,

— R.