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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Novel Update

I’ve finally gotten back into working on the second book for my novel that’s currently being edited. It’s fun. I’ve really missed the characters, and I can see how much they’ve developed since the first chapter of the first book.

Originally I was going to write and publish the series as one big book, but I was instructed (thankfully) by my Dad to split them up…because the book would be enormous and who knew how long it would take for me to complete a three part book. So now the book is a three part series…or trilogy…or whatever you wanna call it. It’s less stressful.

I always told myself, after reading a few trilogies…which disappointed me…that I would only write them if it was planned from the start. It was very clear to me when an author only intended on having a single book, but was pushed by publishing companies to write more novels featuring their characters to help bring in big bucks.

I didn’t want to be that author who lets down their readers because I was writing for money. I write because I enjoy it. I started writing for myself, without any specific audience in mind. Now I try to think about my audience a little bit.

Once my novel is published I might share some of my character illustrations, but I personally don’t like to see cover art where there are people on the front. It really bothers me. I like to imagine what the characters look like based off of the descriptions given. I’ve done illustrations of pretty much all my characters…that I’ve ever had. I’ve debated creating graphic novel versions of some of my work. I may do it. I may not. We’ll see.

I’m still playing around with cover ideas in my head. I’m not going to attempt to do the cover art myself. I’m good at art…but I’ve never done that sort of thing and I didn’t go to graphic design school. I just finished my English degree…all I did was read.

Speaking of reading, have any of you seen this manga I bought recently. The illustrations were breath taking and I bought it for my birthday…and somehow while I was moving I misplaced it. I’m pretty bummed out.

I’m supposed to be going to some free thing at the gym today. Not really up for it. My Mom was hassling me to go outside and enjoy the weather…but instead I stayed in and translated then covered this extremely awesome Russian song.

Enjoy the sunshine!

–R.

 

 

Review Anxiety

I don’t know what else to call it. I’m just a student, but I’d say this feels a lot like leaving your new baby in the care of someone else for the first time.

It’s not the first time I’ve let other read my work and give me feedback, but it is the first time in a very, very long time. I’m anxiously waiting to know what they think…and praying that they like it.

It’s hard to share your writing with people, and it doesn’t get easier over time. Some times you become more comfortable with the person you’re sharing your work with, but even then it can be terrifying.

When I handed over my manuscript I wanted to vomit. I suppose the timing is a bit weird since I’m also pretty stressed out because of school still but whatever. Life is full of transitions and trials. It’s one thing after another.

While you’re waiting for your feedback it can be helpful to occupy yourself with another project. Keep writing!

–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.

 

You Feel Me?: Conveying Emotion in My Work

At the moment, I am currently working on an essay.

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“Where did all this homework come from!” (Image from Golden Time).

 

Fun right? Well, the information I’m gathering is kind of interesting. I also think my topic and thesis are cool…so that’s a start.

I did update my novel the other day with a really humorous chapter. I don’t think I’ve ever actually laughed that much while writing. I don’t know if it was because it was late at night and I was tired, or because it was actually funny. I’d like to think it was actually funny. I’ll find out when I edit later.

Whenever I actually feel what I’m putting down, I know that I’ll be satisfied with the final product. That’s why I don’t like to write about things I don’t know about…it isn’t that I refuse to do so, but I feel like it isn’t genuine and I don’t like to force emotion into my writing. I want the emotion to be real. If I’m not feeling anything, then I don’t think it is worth keeping. It took me a lot of trial and error when writing romance between characters when I first started.

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(Quote from 2D-Kun. Golden Time).

 

I know that there are some twelve and thirteen year olds out there who are in relationships, and claim to know everything there is to know about love. I wasn’t one of those kids. I’m not afraid to admit to it. I had people I liked, but I’d never dated anyone. My first experience with heartbreak was when I was sixteen…and it wasn’t because I was dumped.

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“Boo hoo! My heart hath been broken!” (Found on Google).

 

I wasn’t in a relationship at all.

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“Stop. Get some help.” (Image From Golden Time).

It was that experience that opened my eyes to this flaw in my writing. I stopped trying to write about those types of intimate relationships, because I finally had some understanding of how they actually worked. Instead I wrote what I knew. I knew about liking someone, but not wanting to ruin my friendship with them. I knew what heartbreak felt like, and realized that I am capable of jealousy…an emotion I hadn’t truly felt before to that degree. When I started to write the things I knew, I was actually feeling the emotion in my words.

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I didn’t have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to write about these things because I understood the feelings I wanted to convey. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been able to write about different aspects of relationships. Either things I’ve experienced, or that people close to me have gone through. Sometimes, I’ll admit, using another persons experience is difficult but it is still better than trying to conjure up some plastic emotion that you have no clue what to do with.

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Boo from Monsters Inc.

 

Just because you write fiction doesn’t mean that you can’t be honest.

 

Anyway, I’d better get going. I still have a few more articles to look at.

Till next time,

–R.

Rejection Letter

So I received the dreaded rejection letter, which included no feedback from the editing board. I know right? Annoying.

My Dad seemed pretty concerned that I would forever be discouraged from writing, and so he had Mom call me. Last time he did that was when he thought I was upset over a breakup. I told him I wasn’t angry at least three times before my Mom called me the next day to ask about the rejection.

“I’m not mad. A little disappointed, but otherwise I don’t care. At least I tried.” I told her, while standing in the basement of the library.

“Good. You don’t wanna let things like that get to you.”

And that was that.

I understand why my Dad worries about me, but when it comes to the things that I love there is nothing that can discourage me enough to stop. I couldn’t possibly stop…my work is an extension of who I am. I’m a writer. I write.

There are people who get hundreds of rejections on a single work before it gets published. It isn’t the end of the world.

“Don’t let your dreams be dreams.”  — Shia LaBeouf.

–R.


Yes, I used to watch shows about Pharaoh’s playing children’s card games….

Writing Tip: Getting Feedback

I’ve been making good progress so far while editing my novel. Since I began it three years…or now four years ago (Happy New Year!), I’ve noticed some mistakes I made later on. Thankfully they’ve been easy to fix, since they’ve been very minor details.

It is weird how my style of writing has evolved though. I’m thankful that I spent high school editing essays for friends of mine. Once I’ve completed transferring/editing my draft onto my laptop I’m going to have some people read it for feedback. I’m still debating on the who…since I want to be careful who I hand over my manuscript to. I’ve had bad experiences in the past with certain people. I’m able to take criticism with my work, but there are just certain people you don’t share your ideas with because they have nothing good to say. I don’t share my work with those who only know how to spit venom. I suggest doing this as well, if you are looking for someone to give you feedback.

It is important to find someone who you know will be honest with you about your work. You don’t want someone who is going to tell you everything is perfect because they want to avoid hurting your feelings, and you don’t want someone who is going to tell you everything is horrible because they’re just being a jerk. If you can find somebody who will be honest with you about your work, and will be professional about it (meaning they will give you balanced feedback with pros and cons), that is fantastic!

Well, that’s all for now. Perhaps I’ll post some of my doodles later.

–R.

Hi There!

Wow, it’s been a while. I’ve been pretty busy since my exams finished. I’ve barely used the internet. I’ve either been editing my novel, sketching, writing music or running around visiting relatives.

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Oct. 16th, 2016. O. Ryder

I suppose that taking a break from social media is alright. Being “connected” all of the time can be tiresome. Sometimes I prefer to be left alone. I don’t want people messaging me 24/7. It’s more fun actually having a face to face conversation in the flesh than sending a snapchat to my friends.

Writing Update: I’ve begun editing the first draft of my novel, and I am now working on the fourth and fifth chapter of the other novel that I’m working on. I like to continue writing during my editing process. I feel as though I need to remain productive, because whenever I have completed a project, I always think to myself, “Now what?” since back then I usually spent an entire year focusing solely on one thing at a time. This low-key multitasking is actually really nice. What I do is I create the structure for other projects, while I am writing others, and then once I’ve begun editing my main project I have other things to work on as well. This is so that when I have completed my main project I am already set up with another project. I’ve found this method effective, however I know that it isn’t full proof. Obviously ones main project could change partway through, however it is a good way to battle against things such as writers block.

 

Life Update: I won some money in the lottery. $22.00. I’m a rich kid now.

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Bear in the Big Blue House

 

I will blog again soon!

— 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.