Editorial Assistance

Wow, a spontaneous post! (and perhaps my most passionate one)

I've changed by a lot, mostly for the good, but I haven't changed completely. Ever since I dedicated my life to that of writing and entertainment, I think I also convinced myself that life could be as controlled, as plotted, as the novels I write and the movies I enjoy.

But it can't be.

That sits like an eerie thought on my conscious, especially after this weekend of coming back home to family and my boyfriend after a couple of hard, particularly lonely weeks at college. I don't live in the now. I pretend to, I convince myself that I do, but I don't. I never have. I live somewhere between the past and the future. However, that place isn't the present. I don't know where it is. It's like a limbo where I fantasize and fear obsessively about the past and future.

For the longest time, my surroundings were dull and dead. I could hardly hear and see things around me. Every day was like a dreamy haze. Yet when I came back home this weekend, everything was so real and tangible. My sister's laugh, my dad's smile, the green grass, the sound of traffic, my boyfriend's voice, the feel of his skin and hair, how it sounds when he says, "I love you."

I've been having my doubts about college. It makes me feel trapped, like I'm following some societal expectations of success, and it highlights how lonely I can get because it's so big and I'm so tiny. So at first when I realized how much brighter things had gotten when I returned home, I began to consider that maybe I should just transfer to the college near my house.

I realized that wasn't what this new appreciation of my surroundings and emotions meant, though. It took a momentary scare from my boyfriend to make me realize just how badly I need to cherish the now. But...I don't know HOW to do that.

I think that's the saddest part. Being in love is great because it forces a person to live in the moment, in the now...yet I still don't really truly know how to. And I'll be damned if I don't learn. I just need the people in my life, the ones I love, to stick with me a little bit longer while I learn. It'll be hard. I don't have just college to worry about. I have a business and a novel too.

I'll try if you try with me. 


This post will primarily be about what I discovered when writing, but it does tie into how my day went in general.

So yay, it's my birthday! I turned nineteen (a pretty pointless age, to be honest. It's just one step closer to 21). Only a couple of my birthdays after I turned 12 were eventful. I can remember some going by with maybe one or two cards. At some point, I became a little sad about my birthday. This birthday, however, has been both the best and worse birthday I've ever had.

Facebook made it so that I woke up to 50+ happy birthdays. I got a card from my roomie. My ma's gift came in. And, when I finally go back home next weekend, I can anticipate something from my boyfriend and his mom and my dad. I feel very happy and, as some would say, blessed.

But I woke up really sick, got a scary message from an ex-boyfriend, had to go to work, and got soaked after treating myself to a cheap shopping spree for things I mostly needed moreso than wanted. Right now, while I'm sitting in a room with a couple of other college students, I feel as though this was overall the best birthday I've ever had.

Why? It was my choice, from the moment I woke up, to make sure I would be optimistic about today regardless of what was ahead. I made the choice that this would be a good, if not great, birthday. That mindset helped me remain in a good mood.

This brings me to my novel and the current draft I'm working on. In other drafts, I realized that I never allowed Alecia (the main character) to make choices. She's kidnapped, and that's how she learns her link to supernatural matters. All the characters seem to push themselves on her. Though Alecia is the type of character who allows that, up to a high extent, it would be nice to see her make some more choices for once.

And it's actually much more fun to write. To be honest, I'm still having something of a hard time with Alecia. She's a very hard character to write because of all the stuff she's been through and all the stuff I'll put her through. However, ever since I've invested more energy into making her take just a little more charge, I've connected with her more.

I didn't realize how to write this until I taught myself how to live this way. That's partly why I love writing. It correlates to the stage you're living, in a sense.

Writing....more like, revising

I've been stuck on my new part 1, chapters 1-4 of the 6 in all, for months now. This is moreso because I've been all over the place in other matters of life, and I've already scheduled so much that writing is something I can't schedule any more. I write now whenever I can find an open interval. Like, for instance, hopefully tonight when I finish critiquing for the day.

I've also been stuck because I keep going back and editing the previous chapters every time I complete or work on a new one. I'm in an editing mood because I've been on such a critiquing and reviewing role. Anyway, I think this is a silly, counter productive thing to do. When I talk to writers who do that, definitely writers working on their first work, I tell them to just write without looking back. At the least, I've written without looking back (until the loooong editing process, where I pass my novel out to many others) five times. But this 6th draft? It somehow feels different. I've been working with all the other chapters for years. The part 1 in this version is entirely new, and it forces me to slow the plot down and build on characterization.

This, time, though, I think it's for good reason. I changed chapters 2-4 specifically to add little bits of foreshadowing that will build up and spill over in Chapter 5. I want Alecia to have a believable freak out and to be smart enough to sense all the messages and want to escape, but not so smart as to have any idea how. The key word is believable, with proper build up in small increments throughout every chapter before.

After this blog post, I'm gonna work on critiquing (which should take me no more than an hour) and then plot out chapter 4. There are a gazillion other things I want to do and can easily do: clean out my favorites (it's terrifying), fix my computer's desktop (it's also terrifying, but less so), read all of Zoe Winter's blog posts from start to recent, stalk everything to do with 'Theory of a Deadman,' watch a Let's Play of Dead Space, read through all these free magazines....

But I won't do these things. I'll start to do these things, I'm quite sure, but then the muse in me will scream at my inability to get this damn thing finished another time (I've already done it 5 times; I should be able to do it now), and I WILL at least complete the outline for Chapter 4. It's an interesting one, from the point of view of another character that won't be truly introduced until book 2.

Back and Refreshed

I'm not back from any where in particular. Right now, I'm at my desk in my dorm room. As a writer/reader/blogger/reviewer/editor, I'm back.

Yesterday, I put up a new blog post at Triple R: Read, Rate, Review that lists a number of helpful links and writing resources. It hasn't gotten any views, I don't think, and there are no comments. I won't let this get me down. I've been gone for a while, wrapped up in this new college and job and steady relationship lifestyle. My online platform has probably suffered for it. But maybe, just maybe, when my devotion becomes clear again, it'll pick back up.

I just want people to read and benefit. That's why I write, review, and critique. That's why I'm in this business (and I am actually in this as a business. I have a business checking account registered as a sole proprietorship and a composition book for account/site details and everything). I'll provide more on 'Honest Crits' when the site is finally up and running. The layout and coding is there. It is actually live online, but I'm not providing anyone (but my boyfriend) with the link just yet. I need to fill in the content.

Anyway, what makes me boldly declare myself back again? The blog post mentioned earlier, for one. Also that I'll be done critiquing a novel, the first one someone requested I critique for them where money is involved, on September 12th. I'm sure I'll be done by that due date. I have about 20ish more pages to critique. I've also finished reading Sacrifice by Dakota Banks. After this blog post, I'll be outlining the review and preparing its promotional plan. I hope I can still do it correctly! It's been so long, sadly. Also, I've been thinking a lot about my novel and my boyfriend's novel. The passion is coming back. I just need to schedule in writing time again, and I'm set.

As for my first week as a true college student and part-time worker, I'd have to say it went really well. Haven't been late anywhere, though I've gotten pretty damn close to being late for a class or two. Homework is still easy. Math, though, is the BANE of my existance. I am not being dramatic. I'm in the lowest math class and failing soooo hard, it has made me cry. Finances are also a bit scary. Scholarships and grants are my keys to staying here, and if I don't keep my track record high, I'll have to drop out. D: Stress and pressure? Hell to the yeah.