“Maybe writing children’s books is in your future?”

I got back an assignment the other day…which basically I read the required course material and then wrote a response to it. I think I had to do about 10. I still have this stupid cold so yah….Anyway, so I’m flipping through reading the comments and then I get to the last one:

“You have a very engaging writing style! Maybe writing children’s books is in your future?”

Well…if my professor wants to read my children’s book she’s more than welcome to.

I’m still waiting on the last few illustrations. The original goal was to have everything finished by December but life happens. We’re students. People get stressed and busy and all that. I am willing to wait till these exams are over to get some great art for my book. I don’t think anyone else could’ve captured the character so…perfectly.

In the meantime while I’ve been waiting on that, I’ve also been waiting for my beta readers to give me more updates. So far they like the novel and the feedback has been really helpful and constructive.

I sent all my hand written writing stuff to my parents on the weekend…I have no journals or notebooks or binders. I have my laptop. I can work on the novel I was writing on my laptop I guess. I just really wanna write. What sucks more is that I wanna write some songs but I don’t have my piano or guitar here…and I can barely talk still. My voice is starting to come back a little.

At least I can draw…but my fingers really wanna write.

It’s frustrating.

I still have some homework to get done later this evening so I’ll do some writing tomorrow afternoon instead…hopefully I’m feeling better by then. For now I’m gonna work on getting my energy back up so I can fight this stupid cold.

–R.

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Hopes and Fears

In our lives there will always be hopes and fears popping in and out of our heads. Some nights they dance about as I try to shut my eyes and scatter about the room as I toss and turn, trying to settle my mind. When I wake up I’m in a daze before they come rushing back.

I try to wake up feeling excited versus anxious, about the things to come. I try not to think of the ever-growing list of things I need to do for the day and take my time getting ready. Still by the time I realize I’m running behind schedule, these hopes and fears are there waiting by the door. I try to keep them locked up but they must have figured out how to climb through the window.

No matter. I can always stick my headphones in and ignore them. The music will drown them out…although I do like the hopes very much, so I let them dance while I walk to the rhythm of the morning. They’re warm like the sun and brush gently across my skin. They make my heart pound heavily, but the heaviness is nice…it lets me know that I’m still alive and as I get lost in my hopes I pull out my phone and suddenly fear sinks its teeth into me.

Being late, not having things done, forgetting something back at home…all of the little fears that poke and pick at me throughout the day. Sometimes it’s easy to ignore them and other times I can’t. I think about kicking them, or stomping on them…but at the same time being so carefree isn’t always a good thing. Things need to get done. I have places I need to go, people I need to meet, work I need to finish…and the ever-growing list of little fears pushes me to get them done. My heart races when the fears start to slither about. They slip between my ankles, wrap around my throat…they nearly suffocate me…and yet I’m still alive.

My hopes  tug at me and my fears start to pull back. Both clawing at my arms and legs and face. I can’t seem to decide which way to go, so I sit in the grey…and I wait. I procrastinate. I pretend everything is nothing, and that nothing is everything. It’s a numb place to be, and very boring…there’s no music or colour. There are no hopes and no fears…so I let them back in and let the battle begin, until night-time comes again and I begin to dream.

Novel Update

I finished. I finished the first round of editing, and transferred my novel from paper and pencil, to the lovely Times New Roman font on my laptop. It took a long time to type that up…from December 23rd, 2016 until October 13th, 2017.

My goal now is to do a complete read through of the hardcopy, which I printed off and stuffed into a binder I hijacked from my sister. I want to finish reading it all today. If I can do that, then that’s awesome. If not, that sucks but I’ll get it done. I’m in the last leg of the race here, I don’t want to start slacking off.

I was motivated to finish it, and I did. It felt so good watching it come out of the printer. Fresh ink. I ran out of paper twice. I didn’t care. I’m really pleased with myself. It’s been such a long time since I’ve actually completed one of my projects. I feel like I’ll have finally broken the pattern that began back in high school, with this novel. I’m going to finish the things I start from now on. There’s no reason for me to put things off.

Well…I’d better start reading. I haven’t eaten anything yet today and I barely slept last night but I don’t care. I’m so pumped. I did jumping jacks while this baby was printing. I’d kiss it but I don’t wanna be creepy.

My folks already find it weird that I carried the rough draft around with me and clutched onto it…and yelled at people for tossing my bag around whenever it was in there…and all the barking and hissing I did whenever anyone went into my room and moved my stuff….

Anyway, I’m going to get to work…and I’ll have a snack or something too. Ha…that’s probably a good idea.

Till next time,

–R.

(The following didn’t post for some reason…I apologize).


I’ve now edited several chapters…I believe 11. So I’m getting there. Since schools gotten really busy for me, I’ve set my goal to have the entire thing edited by the end of next week. I have no classes next week, so I’ll have lots of time to read and edit.

–R.

Writing Update!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I’d like to begin this post by apologizing for that. I was really hammered with assignments for school. I’m on break now so thankfully I’m able to focus on my personal projects again.

I’ve got a short story that I’d love to share with all of you. It’s the first one that I’ve written other than a children’s book that I find decent, however it’s currently being marked so I can’t share it until I’ve received it back. I don’t want my professor to think I took it from someone named Orion, even though we’re the same person.

I was extremely shocked by the way my story turned out. Some of my YA fiction contains scenes with violence but my short story had an intense amount of it. I’ve never written a story like this before. It’s slightly creepy and slightly exciting all at the same time. If I look at it one way, it means that I’ve grown as a writer…look at it the other way and it means that I might have some deep dark aggression buried within me. Either way…shocked by the result.

I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to get lots of work in on my series that I’d like to post online throughout the week. I’d like to include pictures with the story, and if I’m lucky I’ll have it up by the end of the month. It needs a lot of work though, so I don’t want to make any promises. I’d really like to finish the first section of the story before I go back to school though. Once it gets closer to exams I’m going to have to manage my time better.

It’s getting late and I’d like to get a bit of work in before I fall asleep. I’ll blog again real soon!

Stay golden!

— R.

Friday Mornings with Ryder. “You Wanna Date?” ft. Orion.

“Alright. Puff up that chest. Keep that head up. Good, now make sure you’ve got your shirt on frontwards…we don’t want another one of those incidents. Good. Good.”

I blankly stared at myself in the mirror. “I didn’t sleep last night.”

“Forget sleep! Who needs sleep! This isn’t about you sleeping this is about you being confident and awesome and going out there and saying, ‘Why hello there’.”

I groaned. “Dude…can’t I just like not?”

“You wanna date?”

“Yes.”

“Then don’t be such a little–.”

“OH KAY! Sheesh…no need to be so hard on me. I’m still figuring this stuff out okay?”

“Well figure this stuff out faster Ryder! You’ve only got so much time!”

I dragged my feet back to bed. “Wake me up when the sun’s actually in the sky.”

“The sun waits for no man!”

“Yah…that’s why I’m waiting for the sun.” I sighed. Then I sighed again and rolled onto my back. Then I rolled onto my stomach again and propped my chin up. “I can’t sleep.”

“Love will do that to you.”

“I’m not in love. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I snapped.

They chuckled. “Then why were you so excited for Friday?”

“Because. I have lots of exciting things to do on Friday.”

“Like what, you don’t even go out for drinks in the evening like normal people. What is wrong with you? Who sits at home and watches cartoons until bed?”

“We do that Orion. We do that.”

“Yah well…I want to do something different this weekend! Let’s get ourselves a date!”

I rolled onto my back again. “I dunno bruh.”

“It’ll be FUN!”

“It’ll be fun…it’ll be fun. Go by yourself.”

“Why are you in denial? Stop denying your true feelings!” cried Orion.

I sighed. “Because I’m not going to let myself get caught up in my emotions and have my heart torn out again. Remember last time?”

“Last time was different. This time it’s for real!” Orion shouted, shaking me. “Doesn’t it feel different?”

“Remember how I felt like throwing up yesterday?”

“Yes?”

“Stop shaking me…my stomach feels gross.”

“Oh great! Getting all gross on the weekend! How could you! You planned this! You planned this Ryder! I’ll never forgive you!”

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

“Hey Ryder, your alarms going off.”

“Hooray…” I moaned, pulling myself out of bed. “I’m going to blog now.”

“But…but YOU NEED TO PLAN FOR YOUR DATE!”

“I don’t have a date! Do you see me dating anyone!? NO! I’m going to blog like a respectable person and then I’m going to get dressed and blah, blah, blah, blah!”

Orion frowned. “Fine. Be that way…jerk.”


Enjoy your Friday folks.

I’ll be getting ready for class now…since I’ve got nothing better to do. I love my life.

Peace!

–R.

First Big Writing Assignment of the School Year…Yikes!

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

Me: WHOA!

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.

— R.


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.

Writing Update: Online Series Coming Soon!

I’m very happy to announce that after a little more editing I will be posting my first online series. Since it originally started off as a short story for a competition I entered a few years ago, rewriting it was a bit difficult and I’m still trying to work out exactly what direction I want this story to take. However, I’m having a lot of fun working on it!

Stay tuned!

— R.

Novel Update: And Off Topic Ramblings

Hello everyone! I hope that you’ve all been having an excellent week so far.

I got a lot of writing down the other day. The story is moving along quite nicely. I feel as though the transitions have been smooth so far…but of course I’ll know for sure once I begin editing.

…Okay this is off topic but I just gotta warn people…don’t do sit ups after you eat. I now have a really bad stomach ache.

Back on topic (ouch!), I find that writing about things such as love and romance in my novels is tough for me. I mean…I’m more of a fiction, sci-fi, historical, adventure kinda writer… I just have romance as a subplot because…well I like my characters to be as close to human as possible, you know? Thing is, I’ve never dated. I’ve never kissed anyone. I’m 19 years old okay? I don’t need to be rushing into anything. That whole high school dating thing never really got to me… my only “kiss” was on the cheek and the only time I was close to dating someone I was to chicken to make a move so I lost a good friend and a potential date. Woo! Way to go R!

As my sister would say, “You darn messed up!”

So…I had to write some romantic scenes and boy did I blush. I don’t know why, but I get really emotionally attached to my characters. I literally had to remember how I felt at age 14 when I got kissed on the cheek by my best friend…and crush at the time. It was awkward. I elbowed them in the face…. Yah…. That’s probably why I haven’t been kissed by anyone since. Maybe they all have a secret club or something where they’re like “R elbows people in the face! Don’t kiss them!”

Maybe if you didn’t sneak up on me, I wouldn’t have elbowed you? Ever think about that?

Anyways I spend enough time watching chick-flicks and Say Yes to the Dress and all that other junk. I really don’t mind it but it bothers me how all of these people are so focused on this ONE DAY. It’s not the wedding that’s important it is the life that you and your significant other will have together. I don’t understand why people can’t grasp that? It’s probably one of the big reasons why people are having issues in their marriages. They wanna go back to that “special day” when really every day should be special because you’re together, working as a team.

Well…that was off topic. It’s wedding season, and I’m planning a fictional wedding between two characters. I guess it’s not that off topic.

So, I got some writing done. Survived the two little romance scenes. I don’t know how well I’m going to create a fictional romance when I haven’t had a real romantic relationship. I’m doing my best.

Happy writing to you all! Enjoy the weather this weekend

I’ll be working…every day. Gotta pay for school somehow right? Man…education shouldn’t be this expensive. I should be able to pay for every year of school easily after working 3-4 months in the summer. It’s ridiculous.

Writing Tip: Drawing and Writing

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.

The Problem With YA Fiction

Some might argue that young adult fiction is not a good form of literature. They might say that it lacks quality or that the novels are simply written to please the audience.

Others would say the complete opposite. They would probably remind us not forget that some of the most popular YA novels have also reached adult audiences.

Now I’m not exactly a fan of “sitting on the fence” but in this case I will as I do have valid points for each side of argument.

I do feel as though YA novel is a real form of literature, though I’ve heard many of my teachers scoff at the novels we teenagers are currently reading especially those involving vampires and werewolves. I also cannot deny the fact that I too have turned up my nose many times at a vast amount of the novels being produced for this age group. However it is not because I think the novels are poorly written but because I find them to be fake.

fake

As you may or may not have noticed the word fake has been overused by us teenagers recently but I am going to use it in this case simply because it is the first word that comes to mind when discussing YA fiction.

The problem with young adult fiction is that the characters and what they go through is fake. Some of these authors write novels for teenagers thinking that they know so much about us without actually doing research.

Sorry folks there is no guide on How Teens Act and What They Are Going Through in 2014.

These authors have not been teenagers for some time and their children (if they have any) are either too young or too old for them to get some sort of idea of what teenagers are up to these days. This makes it hard for them to connect with their audience.

Sometimes I read these novels I picture a woman in her late thirties, with a pen and notepad sitting in her living watching Disney Channel on the T.V making a list of what teenagers are like.

  1. Teenagers are angsty.
  2. Teens are brats who talk back too much.
  3. Always rebel.
  4. Hate parents.
  5. Defy all authority.
  6. Over obsessive relationships.
  7. Snobs.
  8. Popularity is the most important thing in life.
  9. Nerd wear glasses and have braces.
  10. Mean Girls is a realistic representation of the life of average teenage girls.

While they create this list I also picture them drooling like a mindless zombie….

zonedout

If anyone actually believed anything on that list, you might want to stop watching today’s so-called popular forms of entertainment featuring teenagers (I don’t have cable so I don’t know what’s on these days).

That entire list can be found in over half of the YA novels that I have read between the 6th and 12th grade. Now in the 6th grade I didn’t know better. I thought that in middle school girls and boys dated and that dating was really important because like anyone who’s anyone is dating. Then I got to the 7th and 8th grade and realized that was stupid. Only two of my friends dated and the relationships lasted a couple days. If they were lucky it lasted two weeks tops. However I then formed an idea of what high school might be like, however I realized before I arrived (thank the Lord), that what these books and what T.V told me about high school was nothing like high school at all. The other 9th graders hadn’t figured it out so quickly, but they did by October.

The young adult novels that moved me the most were the ones where the characters acted their age. I’m not saying that there aren’t mature thirteen year olds out there but most thirteen year olds are at a point in their lives where they are now trying to decide on whether or not they want to make a change in who they are or if they’re happy with themselves. Unfortunately many of them are unhappy with who they are because they think that they’re losers due to the idiots who write television for that age group.

Anyone ever watch the show Drake and Josh or maybe the show Unfabulous?

Don’t watch those if you want an idea of what teenagers are like. Please…I’m begging you.

When I was glued to a book it was because I knew the character and I could trust them to be an accurate representation of those around me. When I got to the point where I could no longer relate to the majority of the books I was reading I began to create my own characters who were like those in my age group.

I hope that this post will encourage YA authors to take into consideration that when writing for a young adult audience, the characters are extremely important. If your character is fake, your book won’t be read. If your character is relatable and someone that your young readers can truly connect with, then your book will remain with them even after they’ve read from cover to cover.

reading