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October 2019 Update: Book/Movie Blogging, Lover Boy, Inktober, NaNoWriMo

The last time I wrote a true update was in May, where I discussed how health issues were impeding on my writing routine. Since then a lot  of things have happened both in my work life and private life, the latter having changed drastically. Even now, months later I am still trying to adjust to these changes on various levels. 

To be brief about it, in early July a family member I was very close to and a caretaker for passed away. Because I’d prefer to keep some personal matters personal, I will leave it at that. But, it saying that I hope you can understand that I have, pretty much, a new whole lifestyle to adjust to. Being a caretaker is a full-time job and one I held for just over two years at the time; and while I was still able to write during this period I was not able to make any intense time commitments. Additionally, any work took me much longer because I did not have the freedom of a true full-time writer. Only now, in October, am I getting any semblance of a working schedule, though I still find myself struggling to find a balance between my work life and personal life. I still have a lot of things to figure out as well as things that I’ve practically outright neglected (that I am thoroughly stressed out about). 

Now to bring the focus back on writing, I’d like to discuss my book/film blogging; something I’ve managed to keep pretty consistent the past couple of weeks. While I’m proud that I managed to find some sort of consistency in something, after a short while I began to become discontent with the quality of the content I was providing. Originally, I was doing a three paragraph format where the first were the positives, the second were the negatives, and the final being the conclusion. This format felt very high school essay-ish and subsequently lazy. Currently, I’ve decided to put the reviews on hiatus while I develop a new format and method for my reviews. I don’t intend on deleting the reviews that are currently up, because they are not only a way for me, but for you to look back on my mistakes and potentially see my growth. 

Around late August I started writing the surprise sequel to Pretty Boy, titled Lover Boy. I call it a surprise sequel because there was a planned sequel that has now been postponed while I write this one. Chronologically this one comes after Pretty Boy, so it only made sense to make this decision. Lover Boy focused on Eli, who for all intents and purposes is the deuteragonist of Pretty Boy. The story follows him as he struggles with unrequited feelings and coming to terms with his aversion to commitment. As I am writing this, I am currently taking a break mid-manuscript for NaNoWriMo, something I’m only comfortable doing because it is current only in its first draft phase. And, if you didn’t already know, I release all my first drafts on Wattpad, usually as a serial. Lover Boy will be released as a serial, coming out every Monday starting October 14th. 

If you want to be more technical, I’ve already gone on hiatus from that project, for Preptober and a writer-y version of Inktober. Preptober is not going very well, but it’s only the beginning, so I’m trying not to worry so much. I have a basic concept, as well as the protagonists and a very general plot. But there is still a lot I have to do, especially since I decided to be ambitious as fuck with my NaNo project… But more on that when we get closer to NaNoWriMo itself. 

With Inktober, there really isn’t much to say. Instead of drawing, I am writing something pertaining to the official Inktober prompts. There aren’t really any rules, just write something, no matter how long, or what. No rules, just to get in the habit of writing everyday. A habit I lost… around the same time of the year last year. 

So, it feels a little bit like an understatement to say that a lot has been going on. I have a lot of things to catch up on, a lot of things to figure out, and a lot of things to do. Hopefully, I can figure it out and get my shit together.

There is still so much I feel like I need to say, so hopefully I can get my shit together enough to write writer’s journals more frequently in lieu of reviews. At the end of the day I feel like all I can say is we’ll have to wait and see because I definitely have the tendency to put all of my focus on one thing. Which in itself is something I need to learn how to focus on more things in a reasonable way.

Pixie Dust: The End Reflection

I started writing Pixie Dust during NaNoWriMo 2018 and back then it was a very different love story. Originally it was written in Oisin’s point of view and followed him as he fell in love with a vampire named Nash. I wrote seven chapter’s of this version before I realized that it just wasn’t working. Not wanting to give up of the story I decided to go about it from a different angle and as a result, the shy-vampire Nash was put aside for the shy-human Riel in the current version. The story went from being Oisin struggling to come to terms with what it meant dating a nightwalker, to Riel struggling with being a human dating a member of the Elven community. The current version of the story is a great departure from the original idea and even though I personally am not particularly fond of this project, I much prefer the version it would become. 

My main issue with the book is how short it is and how little of the world is actually in it. The world has changed quite a bit since I started writing it that I honestly no longer Pixie Dust entirely canon in what I will call Fairytale AU. At the same time while writing it I was acutely aware that the story was primarily a romance, and with Riel being the main character I didn’t see much of a reason to include much, if any, magic. I wasn’t really in the mood to write a lot of action, but I also needed a break from the contemporary setting of my San Jaime universe, hence the Fairytale AU.

I’ve considered rewriting the story altogether and even though I have no plans on seeking further publication I don’t want to put it entirely off the table for my dream version to eventually become available on Wattpad. Please don’t get your hopes up though, I have a lot on my plate as it is right now. 

And even if I don’t revisit the story of Pixie Dust, trust there are still many stories to be told in the Fairytale AU. 

Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if I lot of people came over here to dear my opinion on the last couple of chapters. Well, all I can say is that it wasn’t meant to be. I honestly was a fan of Oisin and Riel, but as I wrote the story they, like many of my characters, veered off their written path. Like with life, it just wasn’t meant to be, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t remain friends and find love elsewhere. Maybe, in some version of the story, it would be possible for them to stay together, but the way it was written today, it’s just not their fate.

Trying to Work While My Uterus Slowly Kills Me

As I am writing this I am laying in bed with killer cramps trying to concentrate on getting this done. My attention is divided between my computer and a video by Kate Cavenaugh playing in the background, my way of overloading my brain with sensory information in the hopes to overpower my cramps with sheer thought. This doesn’t work very well as someone who suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome as well as endometriosis. Nevertheless, I am pushing through the pain, maybe naively, to get some work done.

Work is one of those things that is always in the forefront of my mind. With the recent sudden burst of visibility, my job as a writer has only become more cemented as my career. This is exciting, but also overwhelming due to the fact that it came to be so fast with little to no warning. As a result, I’ve found myself in a sort of panic to reestablish a routine, only to have it nullified by new occurrences whether they be work-related or life-related. It’s been stressful and oddly exhilarating to the point that I’ve found myself often lost in a stupor of possibility.

Work has been moving steadily and following a pattern that I definitely assumed it would. I’m not surprised to find that my own novel writing is taking up most of my time as my current project, Pixie Dust, comes to a close and I prepare to begin a new project as well as pick up Angel Boy, the effective sequel to Pretty Boy. All the while I am still reading heavily, but for maybe obvious reasons finding that I’m continuously prioritising novel-writing over review-writing. I’ve recently finished reading The Mist by Stephen King and am currently reading I Can’t Date Jesus by Micheal Arceneaux and I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver (which I’ve been very excited for and received early this morning. A whole day early!). Reviews for those won’t come for quite a while, because of the backlog of reviews I have to write, not only for books but for films (I saw Pokemon: Detective Pikachu this passing weekend and you bet I’m writing a review).

To be entirely I honest, I had written down a considerably long list of things I wanted to write about in this update, but due to my mangled uterus making me just want to lay down and revert into a catatonic state, I feel like it is best to wrap it up here. Less so because I want to, more so because my body is an asshole and telling me too.  

Writing After a Long Haitus

So, I’ve pretty much been on hiatus since the end of November 2018 and only really got back to work the last week of February 2019. I can’t remember the last time a took such a long hiatus where I didn’t do any writing. Even during my prior lulls, I wrote something.

I admit I was a much more organized writer when I was in high school, often writing instead of, well listening (this never affected my grades and that’s probably why teachers just let me continue doing it…); then at the beginning of 2018 I not only became an organized writer but a prolific one. I wrote every day, even if was just some sort of horrible flash fiction, but I wrote. I’ve always been a huge fan of Ray Bradbury and took his advice to write every day to heart. But then, well life happened. And even though life didn’t really stop me from writing– in fact, I still managed to write during the early days of that period– I eventually stopped. It would be months before I picked up the pen again and wrote something I felt to be substantial. Something that made me feel as though I had written something.

There are two things that really helped me get through this period, things I feel still preserved my love for writing while making sure my “writing-muscle” didn’t wither away to nothing (it atrophied, but not to the degree it could have).

The first of these things has to be I got back into reading. I never stopped reading, but I was reading substantially less than I’m proud to admit. I still feel I sort of am. Only now am I really catching up on what’s going on in the traditional literary world (last year I tended to spend more time on independent literature, which isn’t bad but I believe in diversifying as much as possible). I hadn’t read a physical book in a long time I forgot how good it felt. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle but sometimes you just need to feel those crisp pages and smell the ever-enchanting new-book-smell. I’ve read ten books so far this year and am currently reading My Hero Academia, Vol. 6 by Kohei Horikoshi and Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. Both of which I am very much enjoying.

The second thing that helps is actually writing, but not in the literary sense (at least I don’t consider it literary). Recently I’ve gotten back into writing in a journal consistently again. In the past, journalling has been my primary coping mechanism when things got hard; and even when things aren’t that hard I find it simply helps me get out all those negative emotions that build up inside. Because, let’s be honest, no matter how hard you try there is always some sort of negativity trying to make its way into your mind. Everyone has ways of dealing with it, and currently, the healthiest way for me to get it out is writing it down in a stream of consciousness style. These journals will probably never be put in a memoir or something because of the way they are written; because if you know me then you know I am a scatterbrain so most of what I’ve written doesn’t quite make sense. Even now, in this more formal format, I am finding it difficult to write coherently, because apparently my ability to do so is reserved for when I’m working on a literary piece. (And– this being totally off topic– but is literary the right word? For some reason, it sounds pretentious to me but, like it just means “pertaining to writing, studying, etc.”)

Anyway… I’m writing again! Currently, I’m not particularly proud of anything I’ve written but I feel as though I’m simply just getting back into the groove. As of right now, I am working on Pixie Dust which I’m hoping will become available in July this year, though may actually be coming out earlier. Please note that the original NaNoWriMo version was scrapped due to my disdain for the original. When I picked it up to write again, of course, I changed it quite a bit to fit what I currently feel like writing. As usual, aspects of the original were not thrown away, but are being set aside for potential “recycling.”

Hopefully, I can stay at the pace I’ve been working in for a while because it has definitely helped my moral substantially. I’m not going to lie though, I’m definitely addicted to caffeine again as a result…