There’s a Swingset

There’s a swingset out back, next to the large jungle gym that has the rock-climbing wall. This swingset is not new. It has been behind this school for years and years, and it creaks if you lean on the poles. But it captures the kids’ hearts, more than anything else on the playground. The recess bell rings, and then you see them, the children running all at once, trying to be the person that gets to the swings first. Everyone wants the blue swing, you see, because it’s the highest one, the one that sways the farthest. I am one of those kids running, my hair in two braids and my socks pulled high. I don’t get the blue swing, but the yellow is just fine. I swing with the other kids, all of us laughing and trying to touch the pine tree branches. Only Elijah does, he’s the only one who ever can.

I’m still one of those kids, but now my hair is in a tight ponytail and my sleeves fall pass my fingertips. I don’t get the blue swing, but the red is alright. We all try to knock out the pine cones as we kick the branches. Only Elijah does, he’s the only one who ever can, and it makes Marc mad. I’m still laughing with the others, but now they leave the swing next to me empty, and I’m not sure why.

I’m still one of those kids, but now my long dark hair is let down and I don’t feel comfortable in my too-tight jeans (but I wear them, because all the other kids are). I don’t run towards the playground anymore, I just walk. None of the kids will let me have the blue swing, anyway, or any swing at all for that matter. I watch as the girls giggle to one another as they sway, talking about boys. I sit underneath the rock wall and watch as they all try to jump the highest. They try to hit the highest pine tree branch as the soar through the air, and I bet if Elijah was still here he would be the only one who could do it. Marc comes close, but he can’t quite reach.

I’m no longer one of those kids. I’m only here because I’m volunteering in the kitchen for one day. My hair is chopped short and I don’t wear any socks with my shoes. I sit at the blue swing, and I sway back and forth, watching the little kids scramble for a seat. The set creaks more than ever, so much I worry it might fall apart at any second. I swing with the little kids, and they don’t mind. We all are laughing and trying to touch the pine tree branches. Only I can do it, and for once I’m the only one who ever can.

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Big Hype

Am I the only person who, when they’ve decided on an idea to write about, gets way too excited about the whole thing before even getting started? What I mean by that is: you’ve only written a few paragraphs, a single rough draft chapter at most, and you already have a soundtrack planned out and who would play your characters in the movie adaptation? I do that way more often than not (aka, I do it every time), and I’m currently suffering from this big hype right now. All I want is fan art of my characters, but my readers wouldn’t even know what to draw because I haven’t written any information yet!

In other news, I wanted to let you all know that I might not be posting as much as I usually do because I’m in kind of a tough place right now. I don’t always feel like writing happy little blog post with lots of exclamation points when I’m crying my eyes out about school. I won’t disappear like last time, though! Spring break is soon…

UGH

Guess who’s sick again!!!!

It seems to never end. Fortunately, mother let me stay home from school this time. I’m just chilling in my room, watching One Tree Hill and drinking coffee. I should probably stick doing my homework somewhere in there, too.

In other, brighter news, I have started a new official project! My Wattpad account has been a great place for me to fill the hole in my heart left by the disappointment of finishing After Midnight and having it go nowhere, but finishing books on there was making the hole bigger because I grew very attached to them (*coughs* check out Worlds Apart and Accept *coughs*), so I have decided to get back to fully enveloping in one sole project.

The story idea actually came to me all the way back in sixth grade. I was trying to get closer to my cousin, so I was all let’s write a book together (shocker, she actually used to think I was cool for writing). We started working on it together, but she soon realized that she actually didn’t like writing all that much, so she handed the project over to me solely. I worked on it for a bit, too… then got bored. But it’s back now, and I am kind of excited about it! With the help of my trusty beta (and best friend) Aryn, I’m hoping that the first draft isn’t too rough (though let’s face it, it probably is).

Well this is… Different

Well, it’s been a while. I think. My sense of time has gotten completely jumbled for about a month and a half.

So, news? Not much happening. I’m looking for an adult to read my finished manuscript because I would really like to have that opinion before trying to do anything with it. I also am completely at a loss when it comes to trying to get the thing published, because I have no idea where to start. I know that I should try and get an agent first, but I don’t even know how to begin doing that.

Ugh.

In brighter news, I’ve picked one of my plot lines to work on as my next Big Project. I have this board, you see, hanging in my room. On this board, I stick post-it notes and little scripts of paper and napkins. What these are are story ideas, and I write them down as soon as they come to me, and usually scramble for the nearest writing source (which is sometimes a napkin from the table of Applebee’s). I store them there for later, when I’m not as busy and need a new project. Since one manuscript has been completed, I’ve moved on to start on my new one. The topic of this new story? Witches.

Yes. I went from psych wards to witches. And it is weird.

I also have this major change of narration. The character is totally different from my previous manuscript’s narrator, and it’s like having an identity crisis. I’m also in present-day on this new one, instead of hundreds of years into the future. I do like challenges, though, so that’s why I picked this plot. Currently, there is a very, very rough draft of it that’s only about 1/8 complete. Hopefully I’ll have a free weekend soon and can stay at an aunt’s or grandparent’s or even friend’s house so I can sit down and just work on it.

Also, I got a twitter account, if anyone is interested: @LenaJax

Hope everyone’s start of autumn is going swiftly!

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I Guess I Should’ve Shared

Throughout the years, I have been an introvert when it comes to writing (I’m sort of an introvert in general, but that’s more of a recent thing). It’s rather rare for me to hand out something I’ve worked on, and if I do I stress out the entire time my pages are in the possession of someone else. What do they think? Am I super pathetic? What if they show someone else? What if they steal the idea and become super famous and everyone loves them? What if they just ignore it?

This past year, I’ve gotten a bit better about that. I care a lot about my manuscript because of how hard I’ve worked on it, and I want it to be the best it can be. So I’ve put my worries to bed and locked the bedroom door for now (the best I can, anyway; I try my hardest to ignore when they start knocking for me to let them back out). I’ve asked friends to read my story.

This has not gone greatly.

I cannot find enough people to be readers. I’ve sent the manuscript to three people who agreed to take a look at it for me so far. One of the readers was absolutely fantastic, though her feedback was compliments, which was nice, but I wanted help for improvement on the story. Another reader is doing well, she’s being super picky (as requested), but with school she’s super busy and I get replies for each chapter about twice a month. The other reader has not opened the email. I would ask my family, but the only readers in my family are busy or scoffed at me when I asked them.

I’m not sure what to do about it all yet. I may just have to proofread it to my best ability and hope that it’s enough.

Out of Mind

I used to think that authors were exaggerating when they would reply, “You’ll have to ask the characters themselves” when a reader would ask them a question about why whoever in the book did such and such a thing.

That was before I started writing a book of my own.

Now, I understand, because whether the writing is actually good or not, I have found that this book takes up most of my thinking space. I’m basically obsessed with my own story, as self-involved as that sounds. Whenever I am writing, I picture my main character sitting next to me on the floor, cross-legged and pleading, “Lena! Please write my story! I want the world to know.” And while at some points I feel like my character is my own person that I created, he’s actually more of a best friend of sorts that I met a month ago telling me his life story, because in a lot of ways he’s his own person. While I like putting bits of my thoughts or emotions or memories into a character’s story, he does things that I would never do. We are separate, and maybe that’s why he is such a vivid figment of my imagination.

So, to those authors that replied with, “You’ll have to ask them yourself” whom I rolled my eyes at, I understand now. Because if I was asked why my main character did such and such a thing or felt such and such a way, the truth is that the answer would occasionally be that he told me that was how things went down or that’s how he felt in his story as he took another sip of coffee on my bedroom floor, and that’s just all there is to it.

I Have Actually Completed Something…. Something to do with Writing!

So….

The other day I finished the first draft of my manuscript!

This is super exciting for me because I’ve been working on it whenever I can (which wasn’t much for a while there, school and whatnot) for about the past four months, and usually if something goes on longer for two weeks (besides a really good television show… but not even then sometimes), I give up on it. It was nice to proceed and actually finish something for once!

Yesterday (the day after I officially finished the draft), I took a day away from writing to regroup. I finished the book I had been reading and started a painting I’ve been putting off for a while. I also got dressed and went outside, which is a huge accomplishment that I feel very proud of, even though the entire time I was out I was thinking about going back home.

This weekend I won’t be doing much writing, because I’m going on vacation from Saturday until Tuesday (hooray for a suburban packed with chatty female family members on a way to a concert), but I’m going to start revising today anyway. Now that the first milestone is complete, I have this rush to get to the end so that I can have a clean and polished final product to hold in my hands. It’ll be nice having something to keep my mind distracted, because lately I have been getting very overwhelmed at random times and I breakdown, and that’s rather annoying/tiring.

So, without further ado, on to press play on Julie & Julia as I begin revising!

Getting Past the Scene

I’m having a mini-crisis.

I’ve been working on this one scene in my WIP, just this one, but it has already taken three days for me to write it. Within these three days, I’ve written about four and a half pages, which is not acceptable for summer break in my book. I should be getting a lot more done.

It’s not the I have writer’s block, which is usually the case. Normally, I sit there knowing how the book will end but not what the next step towards getting there is. I don’t even have that as an excuse this time, though. I know exactly what’s going to happen, and I can see it like a movie clear as day in my head. I even made an outline last week (which I never, ever do) of what will happen from now until the end of the book. I’m not bored, either (if it’s not writer’s block, it’s boredom). I’ve been having the ambition and the writing crave every day lately.

I think it’s that I’m hopeless while writing. I look back at older parts of the manuscript, and I get this sick pang in my stomach. The words I am writing are nowhere near publishing material. I supposed I am feeling so disheartened that I’m stalling finishing the story so that I don’t have to face disappointment.

I can’t be thinking like that, though. It’s not good. I’m just going to wire my brain to remember that I’m not writing to get published right now, I’m writing because I like to write.

I hope that everyone else’s writing endeavours are going well! Keep on keeping on, lovelies.

My friend sent me this and said I could post it if I rewrote it

I saw you at a concert the other night for the first time

I was surprised by what I saw

I wasn’t sure what to expect,
Maybe a really excited you or a crazy you,
But in reality you weren’t either of those things.

At first, while we were waiting for the show to start, you looked so uncomfortable, so panicked.
all of those people were choking you, and you couldn’t breathe, and there was no music to distract you except for the instrumental the venue was playing
You had your eyes shut tight and you were struggling not to cry,
But then the lights dimmed and they walked out.
You opened your eyes,
And you laughed
A laugh of relief,
A laugh of love and happiness

You were looking at this band with such admiration,
That it was almost more enjoyable to watch you watching them than watch them myself.

You’d seen them before, I know
But you’d think this had been the first,
What with the way you would look so surprised every time they played a song

Towards the end, I got kind of worried

You started to cry at the second to last song
And I wanted to know what was wrong

But then I noticed
You still had that admiration in your eyes,
And every once in a while your smile would flicker back
I realised you were just remembering the times you had heard this song
And remembering how it had helped you,
Like you told me it did before

During the finale, your hand went in the air, reaching toward the band members
And you looked so heartbreakingly happy
And the lights from the stage reflected your tears
But you didn’t care for once that anyone could see them

At the end of the show, you screamed thank you over and over and held up a sign that said the words themselves on it
And I thanked them too
Because anyone who helps someone like they seemed to have helped you
Deserves to be thanked