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.

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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.

Exercise and Meal Planning

Since moving into my apartment, I’ve been trying to plan my meals ahead of time. In September I made a menu where I wrote out different dinner ideas for the week. I chose to do meals that could easily be alternated with one another because I know that there are days when I just don’t feel like eating certain things. I’ve only been doing this with my dinners so far because honestly I tend to do whatever during lunch. Usually I just make a sandwich or something simple.

So far I’ve made chicken stir fry, homemade pizzas, roast, turkey…just things like that. Unfortunately beef has been really expensive recently…and I’m on a tight budget. Today I’m going to have hamburgers. They’re kind of my back up foods…stuff that I can cook right away or heat up are for my busier days. That way when I get home after a long day I’m not tempted to order in.

Since Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend I didn’t bother picking up a ton of groceries. If I’m lucky there will be some leftovers for me to take back on Sunday. Before I go back to school my parents usually prepare a bunch of chilli, curried chicken and stuff like that and then I freeze it. It usually lasts me a little more than a semester. Unfortunately they forgot…and I forgot. So I don’t get to eat any of my Mom’s awesome chilli or curry until I go home for reading break. It’s a bummer. It picks up my spirits whenever I eat a nice home cooked meal prepared by my folks. My Dad’s the best cook though. He used to run a restaurant when I was really young but had to give it up cause he was working there, the hospital, going to night school and had three kids, two of which were between ages 0-2. I don’t know how he managed to do all of that. He’s a hardworking guy. I’m honestly really proud of him and my mom. They go way out of their way to help me out sometimes. I’d be lost without them. Sometimes when I’m cooking and I forget how to prepare something or I’m having oven anxiety…it’s a long story…then I call them up and annoy them. I feel like I’m probably the neediest kid. My siblings call me a suck up. It’s true, I’ll admit it. I kiss butt big time, but everything I say is genuine. I just feel like a good way to show people you care about them and appreciate them is by complimenting them and saying thank you. Everyone wants to hear something nice once in a while. Or at least I do….

Anyway, my original goal when creating this menu was to try to improve my diet and stop eating out as much. So far it is working. Yes, I have ordered the odd pizza here and there but not every single week. Now I just need to implement the exercise half.

See, over the summer I tried to work out three to five times a week, even if I could only do like 10-30 minutes. I managed to gain a lot of upper body strength, and was able to take off some weight. I was also taking lunches into work. I want to be in good shape again. My last three years of university I was stressed out over several different things, and last year…was a mess. I want my final year of my undergraduate to go smoothly, and I feel like the best way to get myself started is by getting my body back into shape. Whenever I talk about exercising with my friends they give me weird looks. I’m a normal weight for my height and age so they just assume because I look a certain way that I don’t need to work out. For me it isn’t just about losing weight. It’s about being strong and healthy both physically and mentally. Back when I was playing soccer my head was clear, I was fit and strong and felt like I could do anything. I was never afraid I might, “hurt” myself when climbing trees or goofing off with my buds (you can laugh at the Canadian now). In April I never would’ve attempted to lift heavy stones or carry anything that looked like it could crush me. Since I’ve been doing my own little training, strengthening my arms and what not, I just pick stuff up. It doesn’t even bother me. I’m not longer afraid to give piggy backs to the kids I work with because I’m afraid I’ll drop them after a minute. I was back to having piggy back races, lugging around sleepy kindergarteners after recess and helping my Dad lay down stone in the yard. I’m feeling stronger and stronger every day. I want to continue to grow stronger, in every area of my life.

Anyway, I’m going to go start making my hamburgers. I think I’m going to cook an extra one because then I’ll have something for tomorrow or Wednesday’s lunch. I’m pretty hungry. I skipped out on lunch today because I…I just had a rough start today. Cut my entire leg up…went to the wrong location for my lab…found a dead bird…. Then my sister’s friend got me Starbucks. That was awesome of her. She barely even knows me. So now my days getting a little less…bleh and more woo! I describe…things weird sometimes. I promise, I don’t write “The sky was bleh but she felt woo!” in my novels. If I did that make for a pretty interesting read.

Well, until 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.

 

Novel Update

Editing has been going well lately. I’m nearly finished my first round of edits! I’d like to do at least three.

The amount of notes I’ve left myself over the last couple of weeks regarding work, school and…whatever else continues to grow, but I’m still at a point where I can manage. At least the work I’m doing is something that I enjoy. As my Dad said, “If you enjoy it, it isn’t really work.” Hopefully soon I can turn the things I enjoy into something profitable. Gotta pay off those student loans at some point.

I’ve got a couple of things that I’d like to get done today…a few assignments that I need to get started on, some cleaning. I seem to clean up around here every weekend. This place gets messy pretty fast. Students are always too busy for “tedious” things like cleaning…apparently. I’m a bit squeamish so I try to clean up after myself. Other peoples messes are not my problem…even if they bug me. As long as my space is clean I have somewhere I can escape to when the kitchen looks like thirty people live in our apartment. I swear…something…something in that sink smells.

Whenever I write for characters around my age I start laughing because sometimes my own thoughts bleed into the narration. I have characters who are in their early 20s, living with roommates and trying to cope with the many responsibilities of adulthood. So when I write about them stepping on weird squishy rotting fruit in the kitchen…it’s because this stuff actually happens on a day-to-day basis. I usually end up laughing my head off when I write those kind of scenarios. I usually try not to base characters off of people I know, however you gotta draw inspiration from somewhere. Even if it is your…dirty kitchen that smells like rotting milk. I can’t figure out where that smell is coming from!? If people would just wash their dishes we wouldn’t have this problem. Like, bruh there is a dishwasher! How do you have three weeks worth of dishes in the sink?

I hope my roommates never find this blog post. They’re great guys honestly, but I just…the smell is so bad! I don’t know how to describe it exactly…rotting milk with like a mixture of…I don’t know…moldy…fruit? Like when the fruit gets all fluffy and stuff. That kinda moldy.

It’s sad…when you live at home your parents tell you when stuff needs to be thrown out. When you live alone you kind of just open your fridge and go, “Hey, I forgot I made stir fry…when did I make this again? Oh…oh God…oh that’s…nope…nope uh…Lord help me….trash…sink…I think it’s moving!”

Anyway, I’d better go. Places to go. Things to do.

Enjoy your weekend.

–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.

“Play is just as important as reading a good book.”

As someone who works with children, it irritates me when I hear adults say things like, “A child couldn’t understand this.” Especially when it comes to books. I have always been an avid reader. I read comedies, tragedies, histories, whatever there was to be read I would read it. Happy or sad, it didn’t matter as long as it was well written. The words resonated me, and even if there were some words that I didn’t fully understand, the feelings stayed with me. Children are very empathetic. They are capable of understanding emotions, and are able to place themselves into other people’s positions quite easily.

I think the reason for this is because children play pretend. When we play pretend we enter into a life that is not our own. It’s a lot like reading a book, honestly. Only adults think that books are more sophisticated and, grown up. I’ve always felt it was the same thing. Writing, and playing. What do actors do? They play at being someone else. Writers imagine many lives, and feel many emotions, think many thoughts. Is this not what children do when they play pretend?

I have played games with my five-year old niece. In one of her games the king died. I was surprised while watching this little girl play as the queen, who was saddened by her husbands passing. The queen was too upset to leave her bed. She was lonely. If a five year old, can understand this without having any idea of what death really means, then why do adults think children are incapable of understand the notion of death?

My niece knows that when someone dies we don’t see them anymore. This is all she knows, and yet, this little girl can take the scenario of not seeing a person you love anymore, and associate it with loneliness. How does one feel when they are lonely? Sad? Depressed?

Even in some of my classrooms I have read aloud to my students and listened to them rant about how rude the characters are in the story. I’ve had children say, “They need a spank on the butt!” My niece will say it as well, when I read her Cat in the Hat.

Children are not given enough credit. They are observant and their world is complex, much like our own. A child’s world is much like a puzzle. They slowly put the pieces together as they grow. The figure out where things belong over time. They are not incompetent. Children are extremely capable of grasping tough subjects such as war, and death, and loneliness. Do not underestimate a child’s abilities. Play is just as important as reading a good book.

–R.

Sticky Notes

Ten. Ten sticky notes piled on top of each other, looking like a game of Tetris. Each one a reminder.

Read this. Password for this. Pick up this.

The list goes on. A boring list that no one really cares for, especially not a person who procrastinates. So, why does the procrastinator strategically place these different coloured notes along the wall? Well, they need to know how long they can put off their work for. To procrastinate successfully, one must of course induce a sense of anxiety. They must watch as time shrinks away. Meaningless numbers seem to have meaning when they’re written out on paper. Deadlines and due dates and appointments. Just numbers. Who could have guessed that a small, yellow square could become so significant. Of course, once the task is complete there will be no reason to keep the note on the wall. No, it’ll be crumpled up and tossed into the trash, along with other useless things. Like old symbols on an ancient ruin, it will have lost its meaning. Then there will be another to take its place, and it will linger on the wall until it too is tossed away. Insignificant numbers, on insignificant pieces of paper.

Thinking and Moving

I’m slowly getting settled in to my new apartment. My room is slightly larger than the one I had at the old place…however there are pesky little bugs everywhere. It’s disgusting really. We were promised that this place would be cleaned out properly over the summer, however that obviously never happened. The first two days were spent cleaning. I had to re-wash all of my clothing, towels and such that had been kept here over the summer. Everything is coming together though. I’m sure by the end of the week it’ll feel a little more like home.

As for my editing progress, I haven’t had a chance to do anything this week. However, I have two days a week off this semester, so I’ll be dedicating those days to working on my personal projects, at least until I have assignments and such to do. Then of course I’ll need to use that time for other things.

I still have a lot of things that I need to get done today. Seems I’ve lost my water filter…and a few other dishes which is bizarre. I know that they were packed away together but I have yet to find them. Honestly, I don’t think I can afford to buy a new one. They’re between $15-$30, but I still need to purchase my books for school, and pay my bills. I suppose in the long run having the filter is better than spending money on large water bottles an jugs every week.

I’ve considered getting a part-time job, but I just finished working two jobs and on top of that it’s my final year. I need to focus on my grades and I have to begin applying for graduate school. There’s a lot that I need to think about right now, which if I could I’d put it all off and forget the fact that I have responsibilities at all. Sadly, I’m one of those people who spend hours upon hours thinking about life, planning my next move, daydreaming about when and where. I’m always thinking about something. Unless I’m really engaged in a project or I’m captivated by a good book…I’m thinking about nothing and everything.

Well, I still have to eat my breakfast so I’d better get started on that. I’m pretty tired out right now. I’m surprised that I crawled out of bed at 8 o’clock this morning. Yesterday I was in bed until 11…which never happens. I’m an early riser. Id like to spent a few hours relaxing before I get rolling…I really don’t feel like doing much at all today. I’ll try to keep my spirits high. Try not to stress myself out over money like I did all summer.