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…

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When You’re Drowning

By the title, I don’t mean water-wise. I mean I have a horrible cold, and with my breathing issues it feels like I am drowning inside of my own lungs. It’s a great experience, let me tell you. I’ve been keeping myself busy by listening to good music on Spotify and studying for the ACTs (WHICH ARE TOMORROW AND I KEEP HAVING NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS ABOUT IT).

Every Friday, my Enriched U.S. History teacher asks us a question after giving us the rundown for the day.

“More importantly,” he’ll say, “how is everyone doing today?”

Usually, we’ll all grumble. “ErggUUHHH.”

“Well, you should be good,” he’ll reply. “You know why?”

By now, we do, but we humor him and ask, “Why?”

Then he lifts his arms and does this dance as he speaksings, “‘Cause it’s Friday…” This past Friday, he added to this little song. “‘Cause it’s Friday and we don’t have school again ’til Monday but sike we have Monday off hashtag thanks Pulaski and then you guys technically don’t have school on Tuesday because you’re taking a test that will affect your entire lives hashtag no pressure.”

We all went from laughing to hushed as the dark mood settled over after that. I don’t think anyone is prepared, personally. I know I’m not. Also, here’s a fun fact: the writing portion doesn’t show up on your final score, and the English portion is rumored to not really matter at all anymore! Yay! The only part of school I’m good at means absolutely nothing on this huge test that I’m going to fail!!!

Also, I’m going to be sick while taking it. You’ll probably be able to hear me coughing and blowing my nose from miles away, since it will be dead silent in the bingo hall we’ll be at.

Ugh.

In other news, I’ve sent a copy of my novel Worlds Apart (which is on my Wattpad profile, if you’re curious) to my aunt. This should be exciting…. I’m kind of really nervous about it. I’m still trying to get used to the fact that it’s okay to let people you know personally read your work. It’s just so….uck.

How is everyone else doing today?

I’m Back!

SO, a couple months ago, I completely lost my password to get on here somehow. I don’t know what happened, but I just blanked out. This past Monday, though, I played around with different words until one granted me access, so I am back to blogging for the time being. How is everyone? Any major changes since I’ve been gone? Let’s see, I’ve finished three books on my Wattpad account. One of them even got pretty popular! That was exciting. I finished every season of That 70s Show. I dyed my hair (which is already fading), and got asked to prom (spoiler, I turned him down… which was not only awkward but heartbreaking). I even made a few more friends. I have a group now! It’s pretty weird to have people to go to and chat with whenever I feel down and know that they’ll do what they can to get me to smile. I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’m going to enjoy it while I can.

I also read some amazing books. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell made me giggle more than I care to admit. I’m not doing so great on the whole losing weight thing, but one of my doctors has a theory that whatever my disorder (that nobody can pinpoint for some abnormal reason) is may be affecting my ability to have signs of slimming. Which sucks.  A lot.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in. I’m going to go read Just One Year and finish off this bag of ginger snaps I’ve got.

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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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!

Daring Enough?

I don’t think I’ve ever had as hard of a time with writing something as I have with this book.

I will sit here on my creaky bed, leaning up against my propped pillows as I stare at my computer screen and/or notebook, wondering if I should just press delete after highlighting the whole last paragraph or so. I worry about offending people, mainly. I’m dealing with writing about psychiatric wards (of sorts) which is sort of a big no-no in the writing world, I’ve begun to notice, even though nobody has actually come out and said it. It’s not that I don’t have a lot of knowledge about it, because I do. My mother was a nurse in a psychiatric unit for a while, and I’ve spoken for a good two hours or more to someone close to me that was actually a patient in a psych ward back in the sixties or around that time, and they’ve both given me very helpful information and answered any questions I had. I think what I’m really scared of is different audiences that will criticize me for how I wrote different scenes or what those scenes contain. I have scenarios that talk about things that maybe not everyone wants to hear about or are really touchy about. Here’s the thing, though: when you’re writing about a psych ward, you’re going to have characters with touchy subjects in their lives. That’s just something I have to deal with.

When I am about to delete sections of the book that I am worried someone may not like, I remember what one of my main characters has said (as cliche as that may be): “Well, you’re supposed to write for yourself.” Right you are, Z. I have found that if  I want to write anything anywhere near decent quality, I cannot sit there sipping my tea and debating whether or not a stranger I don’t know will get ticked off by the words on the page. I have to write what I want to write and how I want the story to play out for now. When I’m finished getting through writing it, I can worry about changing things because they’re not necessary to the story and/or because my audience won’t like it. Until then, I must march through.

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.

The Big Moment– Going to See the Divergent Premiere

So I went to see Divergent last night.

For me, this was a huge deal. I’ve been waiting to see this film since the bloody book came out, when nobody even knew there was going to be a movie. I just wanted to see a film adaptation that badly. I’m sure there were a lot of other fans out there that wanted to see it as badly as I did. I’m not trying to say that I love this series more than anyone.

I just wanted to say why.

I love to read, of course. Granted I haven’t had much time to in the past few weeks due to school, but I do love it with a passion. I usually read novels from the YA genre, which included stories like The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments and whatnot. These books provided me with a sense of escapism, which I very much craved. When I would put the book down and snap back to reality, however, I would feel somewhat upset. As much as I love the girl heroines (as main characters, especially, so I can get the perspective from their point of view), I couldn’t relate to any of them, and it made me sad. All of these girls were fearless and tough and selfless and brave. They always knew the right thing to do. And I couldn’t relate to that. I’m not any of those things, no matter how much I would like to be.

In 2011, my teacher called me over and told me she had a new book that I might enjoy. She handed me a copy, and I looked doubtfully at the cover. It wasn’t something I would’ve picked up on my own. “I think you’ll love it,” she said, though, so I opened up the pages that night.

I did love it. I was freaking obsessed with it. I finished it that night and went to school the next day on no sleep. I didn’t tell my teacher I had finished it, though, because I wanted to keep it for a while longer and savor the story, go back and reread some of my favorite parts before returning it to her. One of the things I Ioved the most was the main character, Tris. Tris (originally Beatrice) was nothing special. She was scrawny and weak. She wasn’t selfless, and she didn’t immediately meet up to her desires. But it was okay, because eventually, she worked to become most of those things.

Call me stupid, but I found that I could relate to Tris. Like, a lot. I change my name to a shortened version, and I’m not completely selfless, as much as I would love to say that I am. In fact, I’m almost a very selfish person. I don’t meet up to my own desires, because there are things I want so desperately to do but don’t seem to have the talent for. I’m a weak person, not strong like I wish, both emotionally and physically. And, like Tris, I am uncomfortable with my body, though it’s definitely not because I’m too skinny.

Tris brought me hope and ambition back in 2011 and she still continues to today. Tris gave me the desire to be brave, something I really needed. She made me feel that, even if I’m nothing spectacular at the moment, I could work toward something better, become the vision of me I would rather be, with a little sweat and blood. Seeing a real Tris up on the screen in front of my eyes smacked those things in my face all over again. Shailene gave me my worries, but she really did a fantastic job playing the part of one of my role models. For that matter, the whole movie did a fantastic job. At some parts I wondered if somehow the makers had seen into my mind and how I pictured the settings because they were so exact to how I imagined them. At other parts I was pleasantly surprised. They really did a great job delivering the perfect film adaptation of the book I so love, and I’m so grateful for that.

Now, when can I go see it again?

The Surrounding

Are you the kind of person who enjoys writing in a coffee shop or library? Or do you prefer being in your home, in the comfort of your bed? I myself can write in most places, but I do love hitting up a Starbucks and getting a drink and just enjoying the atmosphere as I work on a story or article, and heaven knows I can NOT work outside if it’s seventy-five degrees or higher outside.

What about noise level? Do you like to have a playlist going on your iPod as you’re typing or absolutely no sound at all? Do you get happy when it starts to rain because the thunder and drops help your creative side come out?

I’m merely curious, that’s really the only point of this post. Let me know your perfect surrounding in the comments!