5th Blogiversary

My blog is officially 5 years old!

I keep forgetting that it shares a birthday with my sister (well her’s is tomorrow).

I started this blog in 12th grade before I graduated high school…now I’ve graduated again this year. How bizarre is that.

I haven’t been blogging recently which has been bugging me, but every time I’ve had to log onto my computer recently, its to do work. Work. Work. Work. And not my fun work…like…just writing papers and filling out forms kind of work.

I’ve been writing a lot through: creating characters, writing scripts, working on my novel, editing.

I’ve also spent a lot of my free time day dreaming. I spend a lot of time up in my head.

I’d like to get back into the habit of blogging once a week, but like I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I like to give updates when I’ve actually gotten a lot of progress done.

Recently I’ve begun writing the second book in my novel series. I’m a little bummed because I had to set it aside for about…two weeks now because I had work. Getting up at 4 am everyday for work is gonna take me some getting used to.

I’m suddenly hungry…and I just ate…sigh.

Anyway, the progress I’ve made so far I’m pretty happy with. I actually made myself laugh out loud while writing, which is good because one of my creative writing professors pointed out that I tend to write really depressing, cold sounding pieces. I’m not a depressing person, I promise.

Yesterday I wrote a song about a chicken…who know one wanted to dance with at the club because he had nasty flow…and…actually it was a pretty depressing song. Thankfully, I’ve never been rejected a dance. Although…I haven’t been to a club since I was 19 (Canada eh) and…it wasn’t much fun. Everyone had to leave because this guy threw up everywhere…plus I’m not much of a drinker…or much of a nightlife person.

Back on topic. Yah, I made myself laugh, and now that I’m older I actually understand new emotions, and I can actually convey things that I wanted to express when I started my novel five years ago.

I’d really, really like to hire an editor but it’s just not in the funds right now. Like…I have $60 to my name. Everything else goes straight to paying for courses right now. School is expensive. I know I’m not going to get a loan from my parents for that…they already feed me. I’m trying to work out some sort of plan for that. I just think it would be easier. Not all of my beta readers are the editing type. Most are just folks who love to read. What is great about them is that they are about to point out plot holes or any inconsistencies within the novel! Thankfully with this final draft of my novel I haven’t heard anything of the sort from them. In my earliest draft…ha…well…I mean…it was five years ago. The feedback I got then really helped me shape my novel into what it is today. If I were to get free editing…it would be from two of my relatives who are big readers, and one who has actually published before. The only thing is that I’m a bit weary of having my work reviewed and edited by my family right now because I don’t want biased feedback. I only know one person in my family who will always be brutally honest with me about my work, and that is my sister. My sister doesn’t kiss butt. My sister doesn’t blindly throw compliments around. My sister gives praise when someone truly earns it, and isn’t shy about giving constructive criticism. That’s why I’ll usually ask her for some quick feedback for a scene or something.

I’ll figure it out…maybe if I put away a portion of my pay every week I’ll be able to afford an editor. I’ve actually been looking around. If I do that, it means I’ll be behind in my publishing schedule though…but at the same time, it allows for me to keep working on my second book in the series so that my readers won’t have to wait too long for the next installment. I know how frustrated I used to get waiting for a new book to be released in a series…and how disappointed I was when authors rushed the writing of them. It’s obvious. Honestly, take it from a reader/writer, DO NOT rush your books. I get that we all need to make money to eat and whatever, but I cannot stress this enough. Your readers know when you’re cutting corners. They know your potential. If they follow you, don’t disappoint them.

Yikes…it’s cold in here.

Well, I’d better get to work…oh joy…it’s alright this work is actually fun. It’s actually character creating work. I’m just a little sleepy is all. I have to spend all evening working on boring stuff…seeing as how I procrastinated that as usual and left it till the last-minute.

Part of me really, really wants to go buy a frozen lemonade from Tim Horton’s despite the weather being all dreary and what not.

I seriously don’t feel well. I don’t know what’s going on with me lately. I keep blaming it on the change in my sleep schedule or not drinking enough water…but I’m praying I feel better soon.  I don’t like to feel under the weather when I’ve got so much on my plate.

Happy blogging everyone,

–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: 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.

Insanity by Lucas King

Occasionally I play this song when doing sketches of a character of mine, whom you’ll meet someday soon. I haven’t had the chance to write his story recently. Usually I write it when I’m having trouble sleeping. I promise you he isn’t crazy…at least…not yet.

Ha…I’m just teasing. I’m sure he doesn’t mind that I haven’t finished his story yet. It’s getting sad. I do think about him when I hear songs like this one. I feel as if I’ve doomed the boy…and he isn’t even real. Well, he’s real enough to me. I created him.

It’s a strange thing, being an author. You create these people…and with one swift movement their lives are altered in ways that they can’t even imagine. They have no control over what is going to happen next…and sometimes it feels as though the author has lost control as well. Sometimes the story’s end up writing themselves.

Part of me hopes that this young mans story won’t be tragic. I wonder if I’m avoiding it, because I know what is to come. He has some notion of what will happen next, that’s for sure. Still…it’s hard to say how it will end.

–R.

Reactions to My Old Writing

I always feel really happy when people react to my poems. Especially my much older ones from when I was around 16. I still get responses from people telling me what they think and its great.

I haven’t posted anything on that website in a long time, mainly because I started this blog and didn’t want my work to be under two different names. It was mainly in case someone claimed I was stealing somebody else’s work, when in actuality I’d just been writing under a different name. That could have become problematic. I have some friends on that website who would rip someone apart on my behalf simply because they know I try hard not to get involved in any sort of drama. They’d do it behind my back too without saying a word because they know I’d protest. At least I know they have my back.

freakingout

Yah, I like that even three, four years later people are still finding my poems and responding to them. It makes me happy and also makes me realize that what I consider to be my “bad” writing has had an effect on people. Like…I’m sitting there going “I rhymed a word with the same word…why? WHY!?” but they’re like “Wow this really touched me. Thank you for sharing.”

Try not to think that because your writing is older that it isn’t any good, or worth looking at. It can help you grow. It shows the techniques you’d been using before, and you can compare it with how you are writing currently. For example, I used to try and use a lot of description, now I like to use a lot of dialogue. When I read my older work, I’m actually impressed with the way I described things but also annoyed at how detailed it is. I wrote something like,

“The bricks of the wall were a mustard yellow colour. The charcoal pavement looked strange up against the yellow bricks.”

I’d look a lot like this:

zonedout

Yah…a thirteen year olds writing versus a twenty year olds. Same person…very different writer. I’ve never actually disliked my writing style. I’ve always been good with dialogue…but like man those descriptions were just sad. They were sad. I don’t know how else to describe them. They did nothing for the passages. They had no purpose. I just always felt like I wasn’t writing enough. Now I’m like “Okay end of chapter. Onto the next!” without questioning myself.

I would encourage everyone to go and look at their older work. Even comparing what genres you used to write is hilarious. I used to pretty much write the same two stories over and over again when I was little until around the 7th grade. Scenario, there is a kid (or group of kids) and they save an animal…or multiple. That’s the story. Some times it was talking animals saving other animals. I was one of those little kids that really liked animals. Yep…now I write about people. And I don’t use the same names over and over again. Like Jordan and Karen and Mac and Emily.

Mac and Emily are very, very famous characters of mine. They have three books and two were bound by my teacher in gr. 4. There are even pictures. And yes…they save the animals from bad guys who are trying to ship the animals off to another country to sell them.

Karen and Jordan also saved the animals from a ship that was trying to sell them to another country.

I wrote them in the same grade. Don’t judge. I wish I had them here with me, because I’d scan a page to show you what I mean.

And there was that story about the baby owl that lost its family and was raised by a human. I wrote that for my brothers birthday when I was maybe in first grade? I used to steal a needle and thread from my moms sewing kit and sew the pages together.

…I wrote so many stories as a kid how did my parents suddenly think I was a weirdo when I wrote six novels at 13? Guess its because I carried my notebooks everywhere and fell asleep with them in bed aha…yah. Good times. Don’t recommend sleeping on a binder. It’s cold and uncomfortable. Also you risk ripping pages.

This is longer than I expected it to be.

I have work to do including chores so I’d better go.

— R.

Novel Update! NaNoWriMo! So Much Homework!

I’m slightly surprised at how much progress I’ve made so far. I’m confident that I’ll reach my goal. However, many papers and presentations are getting in the way. They just keep piling up. Where are they coming from? What, November hits and suddenly I’m bombarded with work? Come on! Really!?

Eh…that’s University for yah. I realized the other day that the amount of time I usually spend on my laptop has decreased lately. I’ve been reading in my spare time…however I’ve been slacking a lot of my readings for school. I have a book presentation so…I’d better start that book tonight. Don’t worry, the presentation is very simple and straight forward…oh but I also need to hand in a write-up from my last weeks presentation.

Never do four presentations back to back. I’ve completed three out of four as of 5pm today. One more to go and I don’t have any presentations to do until my play.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a lot of work done on my novel recently. Most of my writing happens before bed, but I have to be careful because I stayed up a little past midnight on days where I had class early in the morning. As I mentioned before, I’m confident that I’m going to reach my goal, which is super exciting. Although, I did receive advice in the passed not to talk too much about your progress because it can make you think you’re farther along than you actually are…and then you slack off. I refuse to let myself slack off though. I want to finish. I have other books that my fingers are begging me to write. I have a habit of working on multiple projects at once, and I really shouldn’t. I just need to dedicate time to this novel.

Well, I should get going. I have some stuff that I need to get done this evening.

Until next time,

–R.

Quick Writing Update and…Reading Week YES!

Whoa, I just got a whole ton of work done in the last four hours. That honestly makes me feel amazing…however now that I’m finished I don’t know what else to do.

I guess I’d better go look over my other work and see what I want to place into my portfolio for Friday. I’ve been picking and choosing…kind of going back and forth on a couple of pieces. I’m almost thinking I’ll write something new or type up some of the raw stuff I’ve got scribbled all over my note books. We shall see.

Thank God reading break is next week. I feel like today is Friday and I’m ready to just crawl into bed and watch anime, Murdoch Mysteries and Fresh Off the Boat. Too bad I don’t have cable…but my parents have cable. It’s funny, during reading week you’re supposed to read and get lots of work done but every time my friends and I come back we’re all like, “Oh gosh I have so much homework to do. I did absolutely nothing over the break!” Not this time. This time I’m going to buckle down and read the novels I’ve been assigned for the first (maybe even second) week back and I’m going to do a lot of writing…try and experiment with different types of poetry like I used to do back in high school. I am going to do stuff other than catch up on T.V., sleep and eat delicious home cooked meals. I’m also going to exercise because…I keep trying to go to the gym but then I make up excuses. For example, “It’s too late. I’m too full. Too crowded today. I just want to sleep.” anyone else relate?

Feels good to get work done. It feels good to progress…also feels good to relax.

Reading week, I’m coming for you buddy.

This New Year

There are many goals that I have for myself this new year. I want to do well in school, I want to continue to build long lasting relationships with my friends, I want to lose that last bit of freshman fat I’ve still got lingering on my belly and of course I want to complete my novel.

I started handwriting my novel back in 2013. I was actually shocked when I realized this. The first six novels I wrote took around three months each to complete…although I started those in the 7th grade when I had a lot more free time on my hands. I suppose I also didn’t spend much time focusing on my education, like I have been doing over the last four or five years. I can definitely say that I’ve come a long way academically.

I’ve done a lot of work on my three personal writing projects during the winter break. I like to put a lot of effort into the world of the novel, which is why I think my first novels only took me three months to complete and this one has taken around three years. Before I didn’t do any research or planning. In the 7th grade I simply sat down on the carpet by the radio with a pencil and some paper and I wrote. There was no such thing as writers block and I sure didn’t stress out over any accidental plot holes. In high school I became more serious about my work and started to teach myself how to write better, how to edit and how to research (the library is an excellent tool). I’ve written many things in my lifetime but this year I’m ready to finish this novel and get it published.

I’m looking forward to an awesome new year.

Wishing you all the best!

Don’t get swindled into those diet and work out commercials though. Walking for an hour a day will help you lose weight just as well, and it wont cost a fortune. I’m just saying…especially for those of you who are on a tight budget.

Happy New Year everyone!

— 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.