The Fall

the-fall

The Fall, O. Ryder. Sept 26th, 2016.

The Fall

By O. Ryder

I realized that I didn’t own a hairdryer when my sister’s wet towel brushed against my skin last night. It was cold. It soothed the pain in my bear arms but I moved it away, onto her lap. Whenever someone wore a towel on their head I imagined the Virgin Mary.

“It’s cold.”

She looked at me, big eyes glaring. “I just washed my hair.” Always glaring.

In that moment I felt stupid. Glaring eyes often made me feel as though I’d done something stupid.

Always glaring. Always stupid.

I felt uneasy as she pressed her back into my pillow. The olive green towel reminded me of my sweater: how it hung on her and how her gold strands clung to it as she rested against me.

I wasn’t attracted to blondes, I told myself. She was pretty but plain. I liked dark hair. I liked dark hair and warm eyes. No glaring. Never glaring.

My sister elbowed me. Woke me from my trance. Told me Dad wanted to talk.

My eyes left the green and my hands found the phone. I wondered why I had been in such a daze. Wet hair was soft, I thought. I haven’t worn that sweater in a long time.

I talked. He talked. He hung up.

Whenever we spoke lately he felt as though he was keeping me away from something. I just had trouble finding things to talk about. I wanted to hear warmth in his voice.

Everything died in the Fall. The plants, the insects, Granddad. Even some of the Angels died in the Fall.

Love blossomed in the Fall, but made me feel dead.

I was not fond of the weather. It was deceiving. Deceiving Canadian Fall.

The weather was as schizophrenic as our identity. Some said they felt it was bipolar…perhaps…perhaps.

Always glaring. Always falling. Always stupid. Always dead.

I wondered how anyone could rest their head in such a messy room. It smelt of burnt popcorn, wet towels and cologne.

And those golden strands had smelt like summer.

She was the Summer. I the Fall.

For once I had fallen, she had fled. As the warmth does when death comes.

She was Life. I Death.

Despite wishing, I represented the end.

“I love this sweater.” she said.

I said nothing.

She wrapped her fingers in mine. It felt uncomfortable.

“Wanna cuddle?”

I remembered the wet green towel. My sister was asking for the phone back. I placed it in her hand. I watched the television. You could get lost in the television. No thoughts. Always glaring. Always stupid. Always wishing.

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A Very Long Update

So I recently moved back into my apartment…and have been a bit stressful. First we had no power, and when I left on Friday we had no internet access. Great right? Somehow I’ve managed to stay as optimistic as I possibly can. I mean, because the library isn’t too far. I can just print off my homework and such there.

It’s nice that I was able to come home this weekend and visit with my family. Although this visit wasn’t exactly planned. My parents didn’t expect to see me until October, however there was a bunch of stuff that needed to be dealt with at home. So a nice long three hour bus ride and I’m back to my tiny bed, in my tiny room, with my piano, guitar and row of tiny pointless soccer trophies.

Despite the situation at my apartment my classes have been going well so far. I mean, I’ve only been going at it for a week. I’m pretty bummed out that one of my friends were unable to come to school this year, but I only have to government to blame for that. I live in one of the most “educated” countries in the world and yet the majority of the people are in so much debt after they finish university that they spend the rest of their lives trying not to drown in debt.

I’m almost done my undergraduate. Its pretty weird to think about. Like, here I am on this teeny tiny budget, almost finished my degree, single and seriously not looking forward to returning to my previous summer job. I can survive on my tiny budget for a while. I don’t eat much, nor do I spend a lot of money. I also have a gift card so I’m able to purchase a lot of my books using that. Actually…my sister and I have been getting by lately solely on our collection of gift cards. So thank you to all those lovely folks who gave us gift cards for Christmas and such. You’re all fantastic!

Seriously though, gift cards for the movies, for books, for clothes, for restaurants. With all these gift cards I can entertain, clothe and feed myself for around $25 and I don’t have to spend any of my hard earned money. All I have to worry about is paying rent.

I suppose a writing update is in order. I’ve currently put my book on hold until next month, just because I don’t want to try to publish it while I’m getting settled back into my school routine. But yah, getting ready for publishing. That’s exciting. My parents have been waiting since…April ha, ha. My other books are all going very well. If I feel stuck on one book I work on another. Doesn’t matter if I’m researching, planning, illustrating. I just have to be doing something art related. I’m not sure how many copies of my first book I’m going to publish or what sort of route I want to take. I’ve looked at all sorts of things with my Dad, and I’m doing my best to figure out the best plan for myself.

So once it is published, then I’ll probably make a really hyper-excited post about it. However right now I feel super drained…so I probably sound kind of blah. I went to bed earlier than usual, but I think I burnt myself out earlier in the week and now it’s catching up to me. I guess I could technically try to lay back down or a bit, but my parents said we were hitting the road early morning. I always assume that early morning is around seven or eight? Apparently its like eleven to everyone else in my family.

Alrighty then. Well, I’ve wanted to post something for weeks now and I finally was able to…since I have power and access to the web. I would’ve blogged at the library but I get a little shy writing around other people…or drawing. I can doodle and write poetry on my stuff no problem but that’s when I’m confident no one is paying any attention to me. If I’m one of those people who doesn’t like being hovered over while I work. Been that way since I was a little kid. I like my space.

Okie, dokie. I will let you all know how the publishing process goes once I begin that. Should be exciting. In the meantime, I’ve got to double check that I put all my homework back into my backpack.

Till next time,

— R.

 

Nearing the End

The other evening it occurred to me that I’m coming close to the end of two of my projects. One is at the point where it could be complete within a couple hours of hard work, and the other is almost ready for its first round of editing.

Although I didn’t meet my original goal, which was to have them complete by the end of May, I did manage to stay true to my word and get them done before the end of the summer.

With all that has been going on since I arrived back from school, I know that I pushed off my work. I made money, I ran back and forth, I packed, I cleaned, I entertained…but in my free time, rather than work on my personal creative projects I instead focused on keeping an eye on my loved ones. I suppose I was more concerned about everyone’s wellbeing and feared that if I slipped into my own worlds, I’d want to escape for days at a time. I’ve done it before. So rather than write or draw, I just made up stories in my head or read books. When I was exhausted I stayed in bed for hours and did nothing but trace the patterns on my blankets while creating stories in my head. For some reason whenever I feel seriously tired, it is harder for me to fall asleep.

Anyway, I thought I would share my excitement with you.

P.S right now its 7:45 am where I live. That means that no one woke me up in the middle of the night because she couldn’t sleep. She had to go back home…which is a little sad, but I got a hug that apparently never, ever, ever, EVER goes away, so I’ll survive until our next visit.

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Image from Ponyo

 

 

Maybe in my next post I’ll be finished my work? We’ll see!

— 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.

Lots of Updates!

Tonight I’ll be seeing an author read a bit of his book. I’ve never been to one of these events before so I’m pretty excited. I’ll try to blog about it when I get home tonight but it really depends on how I’m feeling when I get home. I’ve been running around all day so I might just want to go to bed. Actually I currently want to go to bed, but because I need go out for the…what third time today? I guess I should just chill.

In other news, my classes have been excellent so far. Although I’ve only had about one of each class. It’s still been a lot of fun. I’m meeting new people, seeing familiar faces here and there. I’m going to make good memories this year. That’s my goal.

Writing wise I have a lot to do for school. I’m in a creative writing course so I’ll probably share some of the things I’ve written on here (once they’ve been marked and everything…since I use a pen name online). I realized when I moved into my apartment that I had left a chuck of my writing material at home and had only remembered to bring the two binders I had…. which kind of sucks but I’ll get them next time I’m home…or just scan them onto my computer somehow. Oh wait…I took the scanner. I can’t scan them. Well then…this will take some serious planning.

Overall my first week and a bit back at school has been excellent and I’m working to get out there and make memories. Also my apartment is really nice. I realized I’ve been here for almost three weeks…but it only feels like I’ve been here a week. I thought today was the 13th of September, but it turns out that it’s actually the 15th…according to my phone and laptop. This is why I need to put up my calendar. So I can keep track of things. At least I know what day of the week it is.

Hope everyone else is enjoy summers (probably short) comeback. I sure arm. The sun is nice. The sun is out friend. Don’t complain about the nice weather. Thank God it’s not snowing yet and when it snows, don’t complain because at least it’s not over 60 something degree’s (that’s 140 in farenheit…I Googled that for my American followers. I got you. 😛 ). Just embrace the weather…because whether or not you like it (haha see what I did there?), the weather is going to do what it wants. The weather is its own master. Unless you know…this is Sims and you used your Lifetime rewards to buy the weather changing machine.

Okay I’m going to stop talking now and eat cookies…and possibly spoil my dinner.

Enjoy your week!

Writing Tip: Character Backgrounds

Sometimes I like to create extremely detailed backgrounds for my characters. Though I don’t go into as much detail as I did with my very first novel, I still put a lot of work into making my characters “come to life.”

For my first novel I went through things such as my characters favourite colours, the foods they liked to eat, their family members, their pets (if they had any), their preferred styles of clothing, their favourite genres…etc. I gave them birthdays (I even celebrated them), and full names and talked about them to my family and friends as though they were actual people. Sometimes I would go through my day pretending to be them in certain situations (I don’t recommend this…unless you want to be more confident playing basketball).

The amount of work I put into that novel (which became a 6 book series) was…well it was fun but it did distract me from things like school and that wasn’t okay. Plus some of the stuff was a little…let’s just say much. I was only thirteen then, and I didn’t have a laptop or a cellphone so…I had spare time to be imaginative.

Anyway, now instead of writing out complete profiles for characters, I only write out things that are of extreme importance to me. Things that have an effect on the story and my characters progression throughout. It still takes work, and it still takes time but it is worth it. Trust me.

I’d like to caution you not to…well put too much into your characters back story. A complicated back story is hard to express throughout the novel without it a) stressing you out and b) making the character hard to follow and also…a bit annoying.

It’s alright to have a tragic back story for your characters, but do so in a delicate fashion. Don’t just throw things into the story because it’s “dramatic” and “heart-wrenching.” As a book lover and an author…I find that stuff irritating.

I don’t mind if Bob’s parent’s were tragically killed in a car accident when he was little and that he has to live with his abusive grandfather, who hates him because his daughter married Bob’s father without her father’s blessing. Bob’s dream is to become a jockey but his grandfather is against it because he doesn’t think Bob will make much money. That’s a back story that has some depth and explanation…it’s saying “Yah this character’s an orphan and his grandpa’s a jerk” without adding in unnecessary background drama that does absolutely nothing for the story.

For example, Bob’s grandfather’s great-uncle Hank was trampled by a team of horses right in front of him. Bob also has a prosthetic leg because of the car accident. He has horrible flash backs about his first love being run over by a drunk driver while they were racing each other across the street. Bob’s claustrophobic and his grandfather is dying of a rare disease that eats away at your bones…or something.

Do not do that! Please! I am begging you!

I’ve read so many short stories by young people and they throw in so much of this…”drama” thinking that it’s good. This isn’t anime guys! Stop! Just stop! I’m trying to help you…please no over dramatic, tragic back stories. Please….

Well that’s all for now.

Write on!

— R.

SCHOOL IS DONE! :D

I am officially finished my first year of university! Woo hoo! I made it! I feel really good about my exams and I’m glad that I’m finally able to go home and stay there for some time.

Don’t get my wrong I love this campus and everything but residence life isn’t really for me. The rooms are really dull, it’s hard writing in a room like this. When I go home I’ll write and write and write and write. I love writing. I love it. I really love it. I treated myself to a delicious lunch and everything! Today has been fantastic! I’m so happy feel like busting out my moves and blasting music super loud…but instead I’m going to be respectful of others and just treat myself to a delicious lunch.

It snowed today. It was so cold going to my exam this morning…earlier exams and snow are not a good idea. Least it woke me up a little more.

Salad tastes so good. Seriously…it’s delicious. I love cucumbers and tomatoes and lecture. It was like all my favourite vegetables in one place! Plus they’re on my sandwich! Woo! BLT! I love bacon!

Yep…bacon.

My meal was totally healthy until I remembered the mountain dew, the chocolate bar and the BLT. The salad was so yummy though…ahh…best meal I’ve had at this school.

Seriously…stir fry and salad are my favourite things to eat here.

Well I gotta get eating so that I can start sweeping my floor and packing up my bedding. I am so happy I kept my winter jacket here…I’m a smart cookie. Well at least that’s what my nana says. I love my nana she’s so sweet. She makes me smile. I love my family…I’m so happy. I get to go home and see my folks and actually stay longer than a day!