Updates

It’s been awhile since my last post. I just finished my first week at my new job. I’m enjoying it so far. I’m doing what I’m going to school for, so it’s perfect for me.

I’ve made a lot of friends at work already.

Book wise, the children’s book is coming along very well. I’m hoping to reach the deadline. As for my novel the editing process is still going as smoothly as it possibly can, now that I’m working fulltime. I actually have two jobs…so trying to balance my week job, my weekend job and my non-work related life is going to be a bit of a challenge. I’m not used to waking up at 6 am for work everyday. Right now I’m pretty tired. I know that by next week my body will have adjusted to the new schedule.

On top of all the work I’m doing I’m trying to tone my muscles up. I’ve managed to take off all that stress weight I gained during that train wreck of a year I had back in 2016. I’m feeling energized again and my confidence is finally coming back. I feel mentally and physically stronger. I’ve been trying to build on my upper body strength as well. I’m lacking in that department. I’ve never really been into any sports that require a tone of upper body strength, so I suppose I never really thought that I needed to work those areas. Now I’m doing my best to try to get some exercise in at least once a day, no matter how tired I am. Even if the exercise is simplistic, I want to keep moving so that I can be at my very best. When I physically feel good, all of my creative work is reflective of that.

Anyway, although it is late, I need to get something into my belly. I didn’t have dinner earlier…wasn’t hungry. I really need to stop doing that.

Till next time,

–R.

Children’s Book!

Ness has agreed to do the illustrations for my book! She’s done a great job so far at capturing the story through images. We modelled the character after our niece, who inspired the story.

We don’t have a set release date for the book yet, however we plan on having it ready for publishing in the next few weeks.

–R.

image-20161013_211308

Artwork by O. Ryder.

Still Editing

I managed to get a bunch of editing done this morning. I’ll probably pick up where I left off in a couple of minutes. I don’t like stopping in the middle of a chapter. There are some spots that I definitely want to revisit and revise. I think that there’s a lot of room for improvement in these scenes…and that there were points where I could have added more description or context. This section has just seemed weak. I don’t know if it’s because it was written three years ago and my style has changed a bit, or because I was being lazy when I wrote it. It definitely needs to be added to. At the moment nothing needs to be taken out, which is nice but it isn’t giving off the impact I was hoping for. I’m sure I can fix it up and get it just right. It’s not horrible it just isn’t…what I want yet.

Other than that, the previous scenes were perfect. I managed to add in a scene which is working very well with the rest of the text. I’m happy with it.

The other day I was playing around on my laptop, doing mock covers for the book. I already have a design, but I thought I’d just make one for fun using the colour scheme and everything that I decided on. It’s not bad…but I gotta say it’s amateur.

Well, I’d better get back to work.

–R.

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.

 

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.

 

The Girl – By O. Ryder

She wished that she could fade away,

Like the petals that decay

And become like dust

Upon the shelves of homes

And through the pages she would roam.

A lingering scent she might be

Amongst secrets of the wardrobe,

or within the old Curiosity Shop.

From each one she would hop,

And find herself on a train

That would run and she’d wonder

If I stay will they notice or remember?

Will my story be told if I hide in the pages?

Shall I be swept away by many imaginations,

Only to lose sight of reality,

And forget how paper cuts once made me bleed?

Then that longing to be evanescent,

Faded along with the thought

And the girl found she’d rather her story was not forgot.



Poem By O. Ryder.

March 16th, 2016.

 

Editing

As you know I’ve been editing the first draft of my novel, and transferring it all from my binder onto my laptop. I’ve realized that I’m able to type a lot faster than I’d originally thought.

I was a bit concerned that because I had been working on this book for three years, that my writing style would be drastically different now as opposed to in the 12th grade. Surprisingly, my writing back then doesn’t make my cringe. Obviously, I’ve learned a lot since then and have made improvements to my style, however so far I haven’t read anything from the first few chapters that has made me grit my teeth. It’s actually fun seeing how different my hand has become…not necessarily the difference in my printing but the words I choose to put on the page, and the pace I create. I’ve found differences, which honestly…are good differences, and then I’ve found similarities. I’m watching myself grow as a writing, by reading over a work that took me three years to complete. It’s really cool.

Anyway, gotta keep this short today. I’ve got to be on the road soon.

Till next time.

–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.

 

Up Late Reading

It seems that I have a fever. I guess staying up till two in the morning wasn’t such a great idea. Especially on a school night…but I couldn’t stop reading. Even today when I got on the bus I was reading. I kept getting drawn into the pages. I just read and read and read, and I wandered. I almost forgot how much I loved to read. How much books become a part of me. How they heal me, and give me strength so that I might forget for a little while the hardships I may be facing. Hopefully I’ll feel much better tomorrow. Hopefully with each and every day that passes my heart will heal…as a story progresses at every page that is turned.