“Let me tell you something about having dreams. You just gotta follow them. If you want to publish your books, don’t just talk about it. Put them out there.”
— My Dad.
So this week my class is starting our first big writing assignment, which is our short story assignment.
Now I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before on my blog but short stories aren’t my strong point when there is a limit as to the number of pages I can have or the word count. I’m stronger when it comes to novels and writing lyrics. Actually many of my novels have songs written into them so that when they’re adapted into films there will be an awesome soundtrack. I’m being serious. I actually have soundtracks for my novels of songs that I’ve written about characters, chapters and if my character is a musician then I actually record the songs that my characters perform in the text. I go all out. It is not just a book. It is…like…a living breathing thing. I guess that sounds over the top.
My sister thinks it’s kind of cool but she also gets annoyed when I record these songs while she’s trying to sleep. I’ve had things thrown at me and no, I’m not a bad musician. I don’t suck! My sister just has to hear me all the time. We actually write a lot of music together and perform it. I’m teaching her to sing because our voices automatically complement each other. She’s the one person that I enjoy harmonizing with because the sound it makes… I can’t even put it into words. Whenever we sing together and harmonize perfectly off the bat we both react like this
Lil Sis: That was…AWESOME!
Me: REPLAY THAT! REPLAY!
And then we have to stop the recording because we usually interrupt our flow due to the fact that it sounded good. It also has to do with the fact that my sister thinks she’s a horrible singer.
ANYWAY back to talking about the short story thing. So the first big assignment is a short story assignment. It’s a story on whatever I want it to be which is great because I get to be creative with it. However, as I just said short stories aren’t really my go to thing.
I do like to write children’s books but those to me are sort of…well they’re for my nieces age group. That’s who I’m writing for. I write those for her. She’s in kindergarten (age’s 4-6 in Canada).
To me, short stories and children’s literature are in two different sections. Perhaps that’s simply because I separated them in my own head but because children’s books tend to have pictures, are not too lengthy and are geared toward a specific audience I place them under their own category outside of the short story category. Does that make sense? I hope so….
I’m not sure of how I want to approach this assignment. I have readily made written material for novels, however I don’t want to have to convert that material into short story material. It’s almost like…I have to plan out the format based off of the idea and if I’ve already decided on a format that I would like to present my idea in then it’s difficult to change it. I mean… that’s why we have different forms of writing. Not all films should be adapted into novels and not all novels should be adapted into screen plays. They were written a certain way for a reason. Now most books make great films, but of course for those of us who read the book before seeing the film it can be pretty difficult to separate them.
I had an interesting discussion with an upperclassman about it the other week actually. I’ll share that another time though.
Well…as you can see I’m stressing over an assignment that should be fun. Hopefully before I have to bring in my rough notes on Friday, I will have come up with something. I might see if there’s any guidelines for my assignment before I make any notes. My professors are being extremely loose on the formats and guidelines as this is a creative writing course. They’re just awesome like that. They’re really…fantastic. I’m so happy I took this course.
Yes, that is the Pharaoh. Yes, his hair is pretty awesome. Yes, I do watch LittleKuriboh.
If someone actually styles their hair like this with the different colours and everything that would be really cool. Someone needs to do this. They would look like the coolest kid in all of…well the world. Okay I’m done. Got some writing to do…obviously. Can we just…admire his awesome hair. I always wanted cool hair like that but nope I got stuck with my plain generic black hair. Oh well…I’m thankful I have hair. Better not complain. I don’t wanna go grey early like my dad did. Ha….yah. I love you hair…but still…his hairs so cool.
So I got this writing assignment last week and I was given a sort of…topic like thing…anyway I’ve been sitting around trying to think of what to write for this. I have to read it out loud for 10 minutes. Earlier I got like…6 lines on paper? I have a bunch of notes on this topic at home and on my laptop but I don’t want to use them because it just seems wrong. I won’t need to put effort into it.
But then I come up with something new and then I think “Nope…this sucks.” and it’s so frustrating.
My mind feels like it’s going in circles. I’ve had a headache two nights in a row because the deadlines coming up and I’m seriously stuck. What am I going to do? I don’t want to be like “Hi…so…I tried to write it and well haha…funny…I thought it sucked so uh…yah. How about we pretend the assignment doesn’t exist!”
I wish it didn’t exist. I wish this was a “LET’S READ SOME RANDOM POETRY” or something assignment…. I just…I’m trying too hard.
Why is this happening to me!? This is the first assignment of the year and I have another one to start as soon as I finish this one and I think I ate too much….
Why? Why? Why? Why!?
Excuse me I need to go hit my head off the wall again…I’ve basically done this all day….maybe it’s the main reason as to why I have a headache…..
I’m apologizing once again for not blogging as often. I haven’t been doing much other than work.
Novel wise, I decided to do some character sketches. Which I highly suggest. It helps you visualize your characters look and personality. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures are capable of telling stories within themselves. It came help you form a characters background and it gives them more depth. The reason I suggest drawing them rather than searching up say…brown haired girl on Google, is because using an actual image from the internet takes away from your own creativity. What you visualize your character looking like won’t be found on Google (that is unless you chose a specific model and based your novel around them). It is better to draw your character. You don’t need to be artistic. What you might see and what someone else sees on that paper is going to be different. If we were not taught in school to over analyze the world of art and weren’t told that only ONE way of seeing things was the RIGHT way, then each and every person that saw your image would see something different.
It is just like when you finish watching a film or reading a book. You might have enjoyed it very much, but another person might not have gotten that same effect.
By drawing your characters you can remain in control. You won’t try to fit them into someone else’s image. They’ll remain apart of your world. You also wont feel the need to over describe them.
So, I thought I should share this with all of you. I posted this on YouTube this morning after, once again, being disappointed by the massive amount of people trying to argue about what a song actually meant (well several songs).
Note that this particular song was by a Christian band, which is why I specifically pointed out religion.
I see a lot of these songs as having a double meaning. The meaning changes depending on why you decided to turn to the song in the first place. That is the power of music. Unfortunately when artists get labelled by their religion, they become boxed in and lose a lot of their potential audience (it’s a known fact). Honestly, I don’t even believe it is the bands fault that this happens, but it is the people who listen to the music and try to tell others how it should make them feel. Instead of trying to analyse the song, and or use the artists meaning, you should find meaning in it for yourself. That is when it will truly reach you. Only when you find meaning for yourself in art, can you truly be touched.
I hope that many of you will attempt to do this in the future, versus going off of meanings and analyses given to you by other people. Sure it is nice to know why certain songs were written, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t first find a meaning for yourself. A true artist does not intend for us to find the same meaning they did in a piece, but to create something new within ourselves from the art they shared with us.
I started thinking about this while reviewing for my exam: why is it that we learn about things that we know to be fictional as though it were fact?
It’s just a bit strange. A good example of this is how in the fourth grade we read stories about medieval characters such a Joan D’Arc (Joan of Arc), who we all know to be a real person and I recall doing my medieval persons illustration of Robin Hood. I also remember that the reading I had said something along the lines of (this was like 11 years ago), “It is unknown is Robin Hood is merely a fictional character or not.” However we learned about this guy as though he were an actually person, true to life.
Maybe it’s just me. I’m not sure if anyone else has ever thought about this. I’ve thought about it while learning different types of theories back in high school. I kept thinking to myself, “Why are we learning theories when they haven’t been proven?”
Now, I believed in Santa Claus for a long time, even when others told me he wasn’t real and even more than him, I believed in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Red is my favourite colour…and so his song was my favourite of them all. Plus you get to say that Santa wears underwear. I mean what kid doesn’t want to sing something hilarious like that?
I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason we learn about things that are fictional is so that we can take something out of these stories and theories, not actually take them as straight 100% fact. I got here by thinking about the nursery rhymes and Grimm’s fairy tales that we hear as children. Those were meant to tell us about events, and to warn us of different things. Little Red Riding Hood (here I go with red again), is about not trusting strangers with personal information. Jack and Jill is about King Louis XVI of France and his wife Marie Antoinette getting beheaded. La Belle et Le Bête (Beauty and the Beast) is about not judging others based on appearances. If your mother simply said to you, “Jimmy, don’t judge a book by its cover.” then you probably would reply with the good old, “Okaaaaay mom.” and walk away. However, if your mother told you this horrific tale of how a little girl and her grandmother were eaten by a wolf because the little girl told the wolf where her grandmother lives…you would probably never say more than a polite “Hello” to a stranger.
Yesterday I received my final analysis back from my English T.A. and for some strange reason I went back to my room without even looking at it, and then forgot it existed until this morning before I went to write a test for another class. I picked it up and said, “I’m not going to look just yet…I’ll wait till after class so that this doesn’t mess up my mojo.”
When I returned with breakfast, my bag and cellphone in hand I remembered that I wanted to see what I got on my analysis. I put everything down, finished texting back my dad (we talk everyday), and searched for my analysis, which I placed on my tiny bookshelf.
I looked at each page. There were no comments, simply pink checkmarks every couple of lines. I wasn’t sure if I should feel excited, or nervous. I started to briefly read over what it was I had written, but it made me feel uneasy.
Finally I reached the last page. Following a series of check marks was a pink 80. I was beaming. I texted my dad to tell him the news. I shared it with those I loved. I was proud. I am proud.
For years, I had struggled with writing more academic pieces, such as essays (especially the dreadful five paragraph ones). In the 11th grade I decided that I was going to get better at this for of writing. I no longer wanted to get between 65% and 70% on my English assignments. I wanted to get 80% and above. By grade 12 I was getting 84% on some of my assignments and I started of my Creative Writing course with 96%. I felt amazing. I’d reached my goal. Suddenly before second semester, my parents and school counsellor recommended that I retake the grade 12 English that I had done in summer school (I liked to take a course ahead of time in order to not end up with English, Math and Science all at once…it always happened to me in grades 9 and 10). in order to be more competitive for university. I was reluctant but I did.
My teacher was great, he ran our schools writing club, which I was apart of and he also taught my younger sister earlier on in the year. He was the toughest teacher in the English department, and the scariest…but I didn’t think so. He was actually very nice, and he helped me improve on many things throughout the year. Unfortunately, though I had started his class getting 80%, my marks became 60%. I was heartbroken. For the first time in that year I was so frustrated and disappointed with my marks that I had to fight back tears in class. I nearly thought about leaving. I’d gotten 3 assignments back in a row, all 65% or lower. It made me feel like throwing up. I felt hopeless. I wasted my time retaking a course that I didn’t need to redo and I was doing worse than before. I finished the class off with 70%, which was lower than the mark I’d gotten in summer school. I was so angry that I wasn’t sure of what I should do. I never wanted to go through that again but I learned that sometimes when we work hard, we don’t always get the results we want but what doing well in university English has taught me, is that my teacher from high school pushed us so that we would be ready for university English assignments and that if we try hard and it doesn’t work the first time, you just need to try something different.
Each assignment I do, if my professors or T.A’s make any comments I will take them and improve upon what they said for future assigned work.
I really wanted to share this with you all because though I have always loved reading and writing, and though English is my favourite class, throughout my elementary and high school careers, my teachers had discouraged me from pursuing English entirely. One teacher even wrote that they didn’t believe I had any interest in the subject of English, while my parents and I knew that I had been writing novels and stories for years and had been assisting my friends with their English homework. I proved that teacher wrong a year later when I was again put into their English class. I think maybe they just didn’t like me because I also had them for Art and I’m always getting 84% to like 90% in Art and this teacher gave me a 60%. Plus when I proved them wrong about the English thing, they gave me a 65% and wrote on a book mark they made me, “Your love for storytelling brings a unique (something or other) to your writing.”
I try to be optimistic so when people try to discourage me I end up trying harder.
The bad experiences that I had with my teachers in the past has also showed me what not to do when I myself become a teacher. I want to be an encourager of talent, a trusted person that my students can go to when they need someone to listen, and someone who allows them to let their dreams take flight.
Well….to those with exams I wish you all the best!
I just watched this video titled, Catching Kayla and it was just awesome.
A woman who worked at a music school I attended a while back was also suffering from MS, like this girl, and a boy I knew from 4th grade, his father ended up getting the disease as well. I just…thought I’d share this because well it was…I don’t even know what to say. Just click the link alright? You’ll understand when you watch it.
“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?”
― John Lennon