Novel Update: 4th Anniversary

Today the 4th Anniversary of my novel. It’s hard to believe that I began writing this book back when I was still a high school student.

I’ve come along way since I started the first page of my draft back in 2013. I’ve had experiences which helped me add more to the story that I couldn’t back when I was in high school. I completed the hardcopy version, and edited it. I’ve begun looking more into my publishing options. I’ve also been apply to Graduate school…which is weird. On top of that I’ve started the draft of the second book in the series (yep there’s more than one book).

I’m honestly can’t wait to have lots of people read it.

Not only that but my children’s book is finally becoming a reality. The illustrations are fantastic.

Despite all of the ups and downs I’ve had recently and all that occurred during these past four years, I’m glad to say that my book will definitely be published. I defeated my writers block, and jumped over the hurdles thrown in my path.

Seeing my words printed on paper is a wonderful feeling. I’ll have to print off another draft soon, and send copies to my other beta readers…who I am seriously thankful for.

I’m excited for this. I’m really excited. I haven’t had a lot to look forward to recently…well that’s not true, I’ve just been extremely busy and haven’t had any time to myself.

I’m also very…very short on money right now.  I only make a little money and apparently it costs around $100 every time you apply to a schools graduate program. So if I apply to four schools that’s $400…$400 that come out of my groceries, and bill payments. I have to pay my bills this week. I’m pretty sure it was a set fee back when I was in high school. You paid $100 for a total of three university applications. Why do they think that suddenly these same students are making millions of dollars four years later? I think I had more money when I was in high school. I didn’t spend money on anything but books. I didn’t have to pay rent, and pay for my heat and hydro. I didn’t buy my own groceries either. It wasn’t like I had to budget $100 every month for food and such. I also didn’t have to clean up after my roommates…who continue to do things that they agreed they wouldn’t do before I selected them as roommates.

I’m definitely considering living on my own next year. I don’t have to worry about anyone else’s mess. I can shower without pulling back the curtain and finding God knows what. My kitchen won’t smell like rotting meat, and since I’m the only person who lives here who knows how to take out the trash…and to use a trash can…then I won’t need to worry about people not pulling their weight. Too bad rent is expensive and it’s easier to divide it up between four people. Seriously…this is a pain in the butt.

Anyway, I have class soon so I’d better finish up my breakfast.

I hope everyone is surviving this weird weather.

Till next time,

–R.

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NANOWRIMO: Children’s Book Update

The illustrations for the book are even better than I imagined. My story has completely come to life. I can’t wait to show them off. I’m very excited about finally adding the text to the images.

I hope Nanowrimo is going well for everyone. I’ve been extremely busy with school and…life in general so I haven’t had much time to post this month. Not as much as I’d have liked anyway.

I have a meeting today so I have to keep this short.

I hope you’ll check out the book when it’s published!

–R.

Working and working…and working

The break is officially over, and I’m back to work. Even though I worked during the break, I was spending my time doing the things I loved. Now, I do love certain aspects of the courses I’m taking, I’m just at a point where I feel as though I should be done. I know that’s not the case. I know that I need to do my best work, and push on through this semester and the next. My marks matter. This isn’t the time to be goofing around. Still, I do at times feel too relaxed. Perhaps it isn’t that I’m relaxed, but I’ve finally gotten the hang of things.

I’m already making plans for the end of the year. I see everything lining up. All of the hard work I’ve done is paying off.

My cousin recommended that I do all of my travelling and such now while I’m single, and not tied down to a fulltime job. There are a few places I’d like to go. It’d be cool to spend a month here or there. There’s so much to do and see. I doubt I’ll actually spend a month somewhere, but if I really enjoy my time there I might go back.

I really want to stay home today and sleep. Don’t worry I didn’t spend my weekend partying. I’ve been fighting off a stupid cold for about two weeks. I have a headache…again. One day I’m great and then next I just want to crawl under my covers and sleep for 12 hours. I hate when I sleep through the entire afternoon. I’m not going to let myself do that as often anymore. I finally fixed my sleep schedule. Class isn’t that long…I just…it’s cold outside and I don’t have a proper coat to wear at this time. That’s probably why I haven’t been feeling so great. Also…I’d just rather work on my novel. I know that sounds pretty bad but I have so many things I’m doing here at home that I don’t feel the need to go anywhere else. Except I do need to go pick up a book I ordered. I leave my house when it’s cold and travel across the city for books. Other things…nah.

I think I’m going to do some reading before I head to class. Maybe I’ll feel more awake when I’m finished.

What am I going to eat for lunch…?

noway

Yugi-Oh

its-not-u-its-me

 

“It’s okay friend. You have pizza pockets.”

Thank God…but I don’t think I have time to go home in between my classes.

“Then you will starve. This is why we don’t eat apples for breakfast.”

…You suck.

“Ha…what you say is what you are.”

Grr…

What just happened to my blog post?

–R.

Novel Update

I’m nearly finished. I’m so happy. When I reached a certain passage in my novel I was like, “Whoa…it’s at the end. It’s happening.” I’m kind of hoping I can push myself a little to stay up and just breeze through those last two or three chapters. I’m ready to print this baby off and do my full read through.

My goal is to have it read in a single day, that way I can edit and make notes…see if everything adds up properly and I don’t have any loose ends. I did my best when typing it up to fill in any gaps, and tried to keep the writing style consistent throughout.

I can definitely say that there are areas where the writing is a lot stronger…some points where I experimented a little bit stylistically and it either was fantastic or I had to rewrite the entire paragraph. Overall I’m pleased with how things are going. I’m just pushed myself to sit down and type this morning because I know that I’m going to be a little busier now. Yah…I know I’ve got a bit of a cold or whatever and I haven’t been feeling so great…but I’m gonna stay up and write. I don’t have any classes tomorrow or any sort of serious things that I have to do so I can sacrifice a few hours of sleep. I’d be up reading anyways. I mean…I read myself to sleep every night.

Well I’d better get started.

Till next time,

–R.

The Ramblings of an Over Tired Writer

I’ve been really tired lately…and I know that it’s probably my own fault. I don’t sleep. I crawl into bed at night, and I read. I don’t know when I end up going to bed most of the time. It’s pretty bad. I hate feeling tired.

I can’t keep my eyes open and I’m bleeding for some odd reason. Who knew such a small cut would gush out so much blood? It stings too. I felt like a baby trying to clean it out.

I want to go back to bed. I want to be a responsible adult. Decisions, decisions. If I go back to sleep who knows if I’ll be up and ready to go by twelve or eleven o’clock? Besides, I’m already dressed.

I honestly can’t fall asleep without reading these days. Even if I’m tired, I stay up and I read for an hour or two. If I don’t I just lie there and stare at walls, or memorize the patterns on my pillow case.

Writing about not sleeping is making me feel sleepy.

I really just want to stay home but I know if I do I’ll regret it. I’m that person who will think on a decision for hours upon hours. That’s probably why I’m always lying in bed thinking. Sometimes I just end up in a mood where I don’t really feel like doing anything at all. Then I’ll sleep for half the day and later beat myself up for wasting time.

Last night before falling asleep I was thinking about how great it would be if I never got tired, and I could just be awake all the time. I’d get so many things done. I seem to always want to do everything around 8pm. You’d think I’d learn that it’s easier to work during the day time.

Maybe I will go back to bed for an hour? At this rate I really don’t feel like running around trying to get stuff done before my lab. Not to mention I can’t really keep my eyes open. I need to fix my sleep schedule. I really need  set bedtime. I have morning classes. I’ll need to be in class at 9am for the rest of the week. Thank goodness I don’t have many classes this semester.

I think I’m just burnt out after working two jobs all summer and from last school years mess of events…. I was beyond stressed. I don’t know how I got through all of that. I guess being stupidly optimistic about things is a good trait…always trying to see the bright side of every situation. Still…I can’t help but feel that all traits have binaries. There’s a good and bad side to everything. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately when creating characters. I realize that the their strengths are  also their flaws. For example, say there’s a character named Alfonse…just because I wanna give them a name…anyway Alfonse is a very passionate and dedicated person. Although those sound like good traits, they can also be bad. Sometimes passion drives us to do things that we later regret…and sometimes we dedicate ourselves to things that in reality weren’t worth all of the blood, sweat and tears we put into it. Optimistic people are always trying to keep things bright and full of energy but when it isn’t good to always turn a blind eye to your current situation. Sometimes we are given certain challenges so that we can grow. If you keep avoiding everything, or sugar-coating your situation, you won’t grow and it will slowly become something that you’re unable to control. People who are empathetic, tend to carry too much on their shoulders. They’re constantly trying to fix things while they fall apart themselves.

I don’t really know how I went from talking about sleep to my strange thought process…but these are the types of things that pop into my head whenever I try to fall asleep. Even now, before I close my laptop and throw a blanket over my head, I’ll probably end up thinking “Why did I go back to sleep? I could’ve finished all of this stuff by now. Why did I waste all this time? I hate when I do this….” I’m glad I don’t take any medication to help me sleep. I’m a light sleeper…but I love to dream…that is when I do sleep. Dreams are interesting. I guess if I’m dreaming then I am awake even when I’m asleep. I see things. I go places. I get a lot done. Sometimes I’m sad when I wake up from a good dream. It’s like you live this different life and then BAM, you’re back in reality.

 

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.