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Writer's World

The Ramblings of a Young Writer

Dancing!
eyes green alnia ace darkeyes
gracerl

I went country dancing yesterday! We're doing it at my brother's wedding and I was practicing with a big group of my friends.
It brought back memories of when I was twelve and had to dance with Julian Barberini or one of the other girls because there weren't enough boys around. 
For several years I went to stay over night at "Upper Canada Village" (http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/) in October. You get dressed up and go to a one room school house, do cooking or sewing and milk cows. It was the highlight of my year.
I remember all the girls sitting on one side of the room and the guys on the other with the lady standing in the middle of the barn floor and saying "Alright, now, boys, pick your partners." All the girls were nervous and the guys gave each other tortured looks. In those days boys and girls next to never, if hardly ever, talked or associated with each other.
A good bunch of those kids I grew up with have moved away, I haven't seen some of them in years and probably wouldn't recognize most.
Every now and then I'll come across them on Facebook or somewhere and they'll remember me and I won't remember them or vice-versa.

I keep waking up between 5:30 and 6 AM. It's rather annoying when I've gone to bed late or have nothing to do.

Yesterday I started reading "Brisingr" By Christopher Paolini. I started reading it a year or so ago but didn't really go past the first chapters. I loved "Eragon" though and I had a sudden urge to read "Brisingr" and it's not that bad. I guess I just find that sometimes Eragon is a bit of a "Gary Stu" (If you don't know what that is then check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Stu) I love the way the books are written but the characters are predictable and I don't really like their morals.
But, on the whole, I really like the way it is written.

 

You know, I’m really surprised that I’m alive at the moment, considering all the havoc in my life right now. But I’m actually pretty good. I’m trying to appreciate people more because I have a tendency to let relationships drag. I have some really amazing and wonderful friends and investing in that is worth a lot.

 

Anyway! I hope you are all fine and dandy too and enjoying the beginning of your summer!



Red Spotted Newt
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gracerl

Ever really, REALLY want to do something but know you shouldn't because you have a habit of giving into it? Even if it might not be bad you know that you'll lose a battle with yourself if you do it.
Bloody... I want to >_< But I won't, because I said I wouldn't.


My days are stuffed, a whole ton of drama practices several nights a week for the play I’m in next week, yard work some days and then after the whole drama thing is done on come my brother's wedding planning days. After that, I start a part time job three days a week… I'm kinda busy O_o
Which just sucks writing-wise. I wrote for only half an hour yesterday... that's rather pathetic -_-

 

I wish I could get a job that had something to do with animals instead of plants. Seriously, plants have no personality and spend most of their lives being stared at and moved from one place to another. *sighs*

 

I want to go to a concert, for a long time now. I was supposed to go with a friend last year but I didn’t get to in the end. I’ve never been to one and that is just… SAD. Hmm, maybe Ryan Star or Keith Urban? Down Here is a local band and they’re pretty good. Oooh, Kutless would also be awesome ^_^

Although, by the looks of things, it’ll be years before I’ll be able to get around to it :/ YES, I DO FEEL SORRY FOR MYSELF.

 

I have some pretty wonderful siblings :) I don’t spend enough time with them and I should since I might only be at home for a few more years. The little things are growing up O_o

 

I found a red spotted newt ^_^ It’s real cute and tiny. My youngest sister begged me to keep it but I don’t know how long it will live because it’s still a baby and we only have worms to feed it.

Looks like this:  

 



Endeavours
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gracerl

I'm sitting outside on my porch right now, listening to some bird chirping like its life depends on it and watching my dog sitting in the garden.
It smells vaguely of fresh laundry detergent, I think it's because of the clothes my Mom hung out here to dry.
The cars going by can be so loud sometimes but once they're gone there is such silence that you realize the noise causes you to appreciate it.
Apparently it's supposed to rain and snow tomorrow, I can't see how that is, looking at the sky. Maybe it's the green of the trees that deceives me into thinking the days are too perfect to be stomped on by the wet, cold stuff.
Bet you're wondering how I'm out here and typing this... then again, maybe you aren't but it's because I have my laptop wire running though the window from the computer room. 

I finished the seventh chapter of "Silver Hand" and started the 8th. I've been making excuses against doing it for so long now and it was wearing me down. But it's hard getting back into it too, I'm in a state of agitation about it because I keep thinking "I don't FEEL like writing right now" but I really want to and need to at the same time. I have this divided will in me. I think that if I do more of it it'll get easier again.

I followed my cat around for awhile this morning. It seems she believes that she has to smell every: rock, blade of grass, tree and pile of dirt. (She rolled around in said dirt afterwards) She does such a cute job of it though.

Chicken noodle soup for lunch. Did I ever tell you guys I love chicken noodle? Well, I do. And raw almonds are the best, never tried them in soup though. I think that's a good thing. Take my advice and never eat them roasted, it'll be the worst day of your life. It's like putting spaghetti in ice cream; doesn't work.

How are your guys writing endeavours going?


My Soul Tells Me Strange Things Sometimes
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gracerl

There's amazing weather today (I've been out several times) and I'm home alone too which is also nice. I’m not going to think about all the work I’m going to have to catch up with on Monday >_<

I’m halfway through "InkDeath" and it's pretty good. It still has some of my favourite elements in it that were there in the first two; the descriptions and quotes. But it also still has the annoying ones as well; Cornelia Funke drags out the story in some parts (like the whole Resa and Mo argument) and she tends to use some mild swear words which is surprising for a children's book. Also some bad morals twisted in with the story that are easily missed if you're not watchful.

The other day I was thinking, thinking, thinking about something and it was making me so very frustrated that my mind couldn't think harder or reach deeper. I felt confined to a space the size of my body, forced inside a physical thing and I heard my soul say "I don't belong in here" and I knew it was right. It's one thing to say that a human is more than a creature, another to realize yourself to be more than a thinking animal. I know the earth isn't the only place, for more than one reason.


The thought and emotion inspired a story idea of a being that was forced into a human body and raised as one but realizes something is wrong because they are not what they should be. But I'll not pursue it farther than writing it down because I don't have the time to expand it these days. Unless I wrote it as a short story… maybe? Sound interesting? What do you think?

Mmm, I love summer, quite a lot. I wish it was summer all year ‘round and I could summon winter and fall only on the days I want them.


My Head Is Spewing Out More Thoughts Than Can Fill A Billion Books
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gracerl

Think I’ll be going to bed earlier, nine o’clock maybe, so I can get up at 5 AM and write before my internet comes on at 6 or 7. I’m a morning person :P … maybe I’ll only do it on the weekends.

Today I got my “Christian Writer’s Market” book by Sally Stuart in the mail today! Yay! I’m VERY happy. I just wish it was centred more on the Canadian market rather than the United States’. I spent a few hours this afternoon going through it and highlighting agents, conferences and contests of interest.

I have so much work to do and hardly any idea how to go about doing it. I feel like I’m running blind; it’s scary, exciting and terrifying.

Did any of you know that there’s a ton of contests where you can win money and get published? I knew such things existed but I didn’t realize that you can actually MAKE money from them and that there is a subsequent market for poetry.

I do believe I’ll enter some this year.

A note on my life: I have another job taking care of an old man with cancer. My Mom didn’t understand why I was hesitating so much over taking the work until I told her I was getting tired of my bosses dying. I would never, in my life, have thought to take up home-care as work but apparently it keeps finding me. It’s good money and it's helping people who need it but sometimes it's also depressing.

My church needs someone to write news articles (or something like) for a magazine. If they still need someone, I think I’ll do it. I just need some more information on it still.

Yes, I’ll be doing a lot of working this summer.

Today, after I went and dropped off my resume at a hiring restaurant (that will not be open for awhile still) I went and ate at La Belle Provence (It’s one of my favourite places to eat out) and ordered a souvlaki (without tomatoes, always) I sat by a window while I ate and thought about where I was going with my life. I don’t have time to stop and worry about it anymore, things keep happening at a pace barely manageable and I think it is healthier that way.

If I can stuff my life with deadlines and activities, I might move forward. I work best under pressure. Not that the work is better done, I just manage to get things finished when I know someone is waiting for me to.

-G.R.


"I Am the Fire that Strikes the Stone"
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gracerl
I started reading "InkDeath" by Cornelia Funke today. I am constantly amazed by her love for books and how it comes through in her writing. I've always wondered how she remembered or thought of all the sayings and bits of poem she puts at the beginning of every chapter. It makes me wish I could memorize them and bring them into my every day life.
I looked up one she mentioned called "Sacrifice to the Lares Vigils III" by Rainer Maria Rilke but I could not find a translation of it. There is information enough on the author, and mention of the poem but I cannot seem to find the whole thing.
Here are two other ones she quotes:


I Am the Song

I am the song that sings the bird.
I am the leaf that grows the land.
I am the tide that moves the moon.
I am the stream that halts the sand.
I am the cloud that drives the storm.
I am the earth that lights the sun.
I am the fire that strikes the stone.
I am the clay that shapes the hand.
I am the word that speaks the man.

- Charles Causley

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

- Billy Collins 


I want to be able to write like that...


This is This, That is That
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gracerl

When I started "Silver Blood" I picked a setting, added a plot and created three characters. After choosing a main one, Meredith, I started the tale with her. Being quite young and ignorant of clichés, she looked just like me. I soon grew bored of her, she was bland and predictable.
Then he came out of nowhere, (on horseback and riding like the wind I might add) Airith snatched the leading roll right out of Meredith's hands and she didn't even put up a fight. On the contrary, she was more than willing to give him the spot light. He stole my affections along with it and now I think I'll bawl if or when he dies. I won't say he doesn't die, because he does have a fatal disease, but I won't say he lives either. The story is already planned so I have already chosen. Just keep in mind that three of my favourite dramatic movies "The Time Traveller's Wife" "Bright Star" and "A Millionheir's First Love" (A Korean Movie) all lose one of the leading characters in the end. That's not a threat, I'm just saying... But then again, I'm also a fan of Jane Austen and all her characters get happy endings.
Airith is my favourite and IF I kill him (I'll not give it away) you can be sure it'd be a glorious and meaningful death.

I recently sent out a petition to my wonderful friends for readers and feedback on my novel. I now have a list of awesome people who are willing to take on the challenge and I think I'd hug them all at once hundreds of times over just for being willing to consider the challenge. It IS a challenge; I wrote it when I was 14 – 15 years old with no experience whatsoever. I just picked up a pen and started writing. It gets better as you go along, I promise. I find it somewhat embarrassing since I know I can do SO much better now.

But that’s that and this is this.

 

I talked with a wonderful lady who gave me some good advice. She told me I should buy this book:  http://www.amazon.ca/2010-Writers-Market-Robert-Brewer/dp/1582975795 but after I read the reviews I decided to settle on this book instead: http://www.amazon.ca/Christian-Writers-Market-Guide-2010/dp/1414334257/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269092864&sr=1-1 I might get the other one some time, but I’ll stick with this for now.

 

Happy writing!


Publishing Research
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gracerl

Recently I have the impression that quite a few creative people have, at one time or another, considered writing.
Personally I know at least four friends who want to pursue it as a career in some form. I seem to pick 'em before even finding out we share the passion.

When the idea of putting a pen to paper first entered my underdeveloped mind, I had no idea there were so many other people thinking the same. Although I NEVER think of my writer friends as competition, the amount of young people with a writing career in mind sometimes overwhelms me. A comforting thought is that everyone has a different style so I might actually have a shot in the publishing world.

Speaking of publishing, I recently found out that one of my fellow writers is submitting his first book to a publisher. This jolted me out of my recent hazy and lethargic state of being. I tend to think of that sort of thing as a part of the future, not something I should worry about now but he happens to be my age. So, I panicked a bit (something I should have done long ago) panicking can be a good motivator, and fortunately, I usually keep my head about me when panic-worthy situations come up.

I remembered that I had to get my butt moving and prove I’m actually serious about what I say.


So, I spent a few hours today looking through my cleverly named bookmark folder in my internet browser; “Writing Stuff.” Doesn’t the name give you the shivers?

My darling Mother has, over time, emailed me many writing sites and resources. The ones I thought note worthy I had bookmarked and forgotten. Some had been discovered by myself. If it were not for the hour and my blurry eyes I would be still reading publishing tips and submission requirements. I have discovered, to my great disappointment, that most of the bigger companies require literary agents. A subject I still need to do more reading on. From what I understand, they ask for money I do not have; which is part of the reason I inquired after jobs today. Sadly, none are in the literary spectrum and most call for a language I can hardly, if at all, speak.

I’ll most probably end up working in an inn restaurant fifteen minutes from my house. The lady hiring seemed enthusiastic about it. A plus being that my friends applying also know her through their church.

Back to publishing; I am still researching but here are some links that might be helpful:

http://www.writersdigest.com/GeneralMenu/ 

http://www.creativebyline.com/Creator/Submissions/Default.aspx

http://www.ehow.com/how-to_4845404_3_publish-poems.html (For Publishing Poems)

http://www.literarymarketplace.com/lmp/us/index_us.asp

-G.R.


Been Writing...
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gracerl

Sometimes I get lost in words, so lost, it takes me a minute to realize where I am.
When it dawns on me that I'm actually alive and reality isn't what's in my head, I remember every reason why I am addicted to getting lost.
It's so easy to slip out of the world and into another; one that you can stand back from the problems and view them objectively and impersonally.

I suppose it's the reason why I loved "Inkheart" by Cornelia Funk. One of her characters, a writer, has no sympathy for what he puts his characters though, and if he does, it is a selfish sympathy because it made him cry, not because of what happened to them.
Still, characters are fictional but one cannot help but feel guilty with such control. Maybe that's why I like writing, because I can put my characters wherever I want. Playing God. Us humans like doing that. It is fortunate that He's the one who writes history, and not us.

So, I have been writing, (in case you have not guessed) I have been re-writing the first five chapters of my book. I know if I can get passed them and move forward with the plot again, I'll be able to write easier. Almost there.


Writing Tips
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gracerl

Hmm, my poems, I don’t like my rhymes in them lately, they seem… dry.

I promised to post some points I learned from a writing webinar by Kristen Eckstein that I listened in on. It was mainly about preparing and starting writing. I already did most of the things she mentioned but I had never written them down. I do also have a tendency to not be as persistent in writing as I should be, which she mentions is bad :S

Here ya go!

Fist: Decide what you want to do, evaluate your projects.

Which one do you have the most knowledge in? For which one have I done the most research? Which one do you need to do the most research?

The latter goes on the back burner since it is least likely to be finished.

Which story idea has the most likelihood of being completed?

When something is co-authored, it will most likely be finished first since there is someone else working with and keeping you accountable. Make sure you do not get off topic when you are with them, stick to your project.

Second: Resolve yourself to stay focus.

Take away distractions for other projects – files, notes, photos, etc. Take a retreat or a break somewhere to write so there is nothing else to think about.

Keeping a notebook handy to capture other non-related ides in is a good idea, but then once they are written down, forget about them, because they have no part in what you are working on NOW.

 Discipline is important! Nothing will work unless you have self-discipline. (this where I tend to fall short >_<)  Reward yourself if you reach your goal or quota. (Ice-cream! Chocolate! :D) If you don’t reach it, give yourself a consequence by removing something you like (no sugar :_: )

Turn off spell-check, you will keep trying to fix your spelling and forget where you were going. (It’s true :/ ) Turn it back on afterwards.

Set aside specific times to write and STICK TO IT. Make sure your family knows your writing time is reserved. (This sort-of works for me, but not always :P)

Keep going, There is no such thing as “writer’s block” All writing is difficult, there is no “cookie cutter” solution for a bestseller. (Well, I think there is such thing as a writer’s block, it’s just a state of mind and all states of mind can be changed)

If you’re stuck do a mindless activity, something that does not require thinking. Set a timer and then go back to writing. If you play a computer game, when you have finished ONE game, go back to writing.

Find a local writer’s group to join or start your own. Getting together with other writers for sharing, support and encouragement is helpful.

Think about your target audience, go read some of your writing to them and ask what they think. Go to the library and read other books in the category you are aiming for. You can also contact published writers and ask them questions.

Identify your procrastination habits, what you do to get out of writing. KILL THEM. (With something pointy ^_^)

Designate a writing space. (This is hard for me since I have a lot of people in my house and it’s hard to find a place that’s quiet and people-free)

Set a timeline for your book, how long it will take you to write it, make a schedule.

Don’t lose confidence

Putting up a “Story board” can help give inspiration, drawings of characters, quotes and other things that inspire your book.

You do not HAVE TO write an outline or make chapters; you can go back and make chapters. An outline is okay if it helps you, but don’t get too caught up in outlining and wasting time.

Third: It doesn’t matter what kind of publishing you do, you need to run it by an editor first. You better your chances of getting in print.

Use the internet to promote your book and you will always have an advantage. EBooks don’t sell as well as paper books, at least not any time soon.

Leave your preconceived limitations at the door. (I should do this one :P)

Don’t compare yourself to other writers.

There you go! If anyone has anything to add it is much appreciated ^_^

 

---- Wow, this was rather long.

-G.R.


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