Category Archives: A Writer’s Life

An Update and Recommendations

One month late, what a slacker I am!

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Well, updates first, of course! I am not sure that I had mentioned it before, but I was hired to be a waitress at a Tavern/Bar back in March. Recently, though, I quit that job and now I have a new job! I am now a Video Game Advisor for GameStop, which is pretty awesome if you ask me!

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Also, I’ve FINALLY resumed work on my book, which I’ve been writing off and on for a few years now. My goal is to have the first draft completed by September 30th, 2016, that way I can start a brand new project for NaNoWriMo in November this year. =D

It was hard writing for awhile, with everything that was going on emotionally and mentally for me. Struggling through anxiety and medication and trying to figure out ways to handle situations that send me plummeting for an anxiety attack where pretty much my main villains when it came to story writing, because I was just SO obsessed trying to handle it, that I had a really hard time focusing on much else. Regardless, after working with my doctor and counselor to fix my medicine dosage, I am FINALLY feeling like my normal self (from before these anxiety problems started back in 2008) again, which is a huge relief and a lot of pressure off of my chest and mind.

That aside, I’ve been reading a lot. Have any of heard of the book “Awkward” by Svetlana Chmakova?

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She’s done a lot of manga books, but this was her very first work I’ve ever read. I absolutely loved not only the artwork but the story as well! It was such a great read and I plowed through it in under 24 hours. If you’re looking for a book to read before the summer is over, I highly recommend this one, especially if you enjoy everyday middle school life drama for a young girl trying to fit in.

Still not sure? Here’s the synopsis for it:

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don’t get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope—Peppi—Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals—the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

And, if you’re looking for anything to Netflix binge-watch, they recently added a new Japanese Rom-Com by the title of “Good Morning Call”, and is based off of the shōjo manga of the same name, which is adorable! Synopsis? Easy: A high school girl finally gets her own apartment, but she has to share it with the most popular boy in school. No one can know they’re living together. Come on, now who doesn’t love that?

To be completely honest, I’m an absolute sucker for Asian Rom-Com’s. I just love watching them so much, with their exaggerated expressions and reactions and everything, it’s just so much fun!

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On that note, I’m going to head off. I just returned home from work and, speaking of Netflix, I want to watch some more of my shows.

Cheers everyone!

– Soleil

 

 

Who am I?

Despite my last post and efforts, I have become addicted to Bollywood movies. Recently, I watched one called Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and the opening song sort of struck on a chord. View the song here, courtesy of a YouTube upload.

The lyrics follow as:
As are the days, so are the nights, everything looks loose…
Even the sky looks a little less blue…
Life, sometimes,
Is a little full, is sometimes empty,
I know my name, but I don’t know who I am…
I know where my home is, but I don’t know who I am…
Who am I, who…
As are the days, so are the nights,
Everything looks loose…
Even the sky looks a little less blue…
Looks loose…

The lyrics I’ve made bold are the ones I found relatable. I’m not sure why but they really stuck to me, made me contemplate some things about myself.

I feel like, in today’s world, it is easy to get lost, swept up in the fast-pace of things and wrapped up in stuff that would otherwise be unnecessary.

Becoming lost is the easy part.

Finding who you are is the journey.

I do know my name and I do know where my home is, but if you asked me who I was, I would give you the generic response: “I am an art major trying to graduate and someday I’d like to be a Disney artist”, whereas the real, truthful answer is: “I don’t know who I am. I’m still looking.”

I know that I am studying art at university but I often wonder if it is the proper path. When I sit and muse over my life so far, the choices I have made, the studies I have engaged in, I begin to doubt that I have chosen correctly.

And that scares me.

Let’s go over facts: I am twenty-five and still live at home with my parents and siblings. I currently have no proper career that can give me the guarantee or safety of any kind of insurance and I’m studying for a degree that will give me access to a slim array of positions once I do graduate this upcoming Fall semester. The probability that I will land a successful and albeit decent art career are slim to none. Certainly, I will not get something that can offer me the insurance I so desperately need, nor the pay scale to even consider trying to live on my own, let alone survive.

That terrifies me.

It’s a big jump, from scared to terrified, you know, and when these dark and foreboding thoughts do worm their way back up from where I’ve tried to bury them away in the deepest corners of my mind, I feel even more lost than I normally do.

And that makes me stop and think and wonder: “What can I do?”, “What can I accomplish?”

But I have no answers.

It’s practically the same feeling as being stuck, of feeling stagnant and unmoving in my life (which I covered in a previous post here).

To be honest, my life is rather boring. I’m not an exceptionally exciting person. I live in an extremely rural area (as I have mentioned before) where the nearest shopping is at least a half hour drive, and even the options offered are minimal. The more you want, the farther away you have to drive.

I’d rather stay home than go out.

I have two friends within easy travel distance but our schedules keep us apart. My other friends live, spread across the wide world and we can only communicate through messages.

My biggest entertainment is my own wild imagination, where I can live the exciting life I am always dreaming about, and I make no efforts to turn my imagination into reality. That is my failing. And that is my triumph.

I am still learning, still discovering who I am and what makes me, what drives me, what limits me, what makes me soar.

But I am still lost and my journey is still ongoing.

So the big question is put simply, but the answer is seemingly impossible and limitless: “Who am I?”

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Recently, I read a post by a fellow blogger and their words resonated within my very soul, to the very core of my being. With this post, with those words, I was able to relate and feel and conclude and finally realize that it was the same way I felt. She wrote exactly what I’ve been trying to say myself for months now. Her name is Lindsey but she’s better known on WordPress as MomentMuser and the post I’m talking about is “Becoming”.

I want to quote a bit of it, the pieces that held the truest to me:

“I had thought I’d be further along by now.”

This much is true. To be honest, when I was small, I pictured myself happily married and with children of my own by now, just like my mother (married at 22) and grandmother (married at 20) when they were my age. Yet here I am, 25 turning 26 in March and I’m still not married, nor do I have any children. In fact, I’ve never even had a relationship last pass six months! This realization often makes me ask questions of myself like, “What’s wrong with me?”, “Is there something wrong with me?, “Is there really someone out there for me?”, “Am I going to be alone my whole life?”

But I didn’t want to just be married with a family by now. I also wanted my career by this point, but instead I am still a university student. I wanted to be this great artist, Disney Animator, working on amazing movies and creating characters and stories to be loved by all! Instead, I’m an unmotivated, uninspired slacker.

And this point resonates to the next quote of Lindsey’s post:

“I am not entitled. Surely the world does not owe me the Life I dream of living. I doubt that the world really cares what I do. In its indifference I will slip away.

I am lazy, lazy, lazy.

Today my alarm sounded at 9, at 9:30, at 10. Dozens of 8-minute intervals later, I rose at noon.”

Seriously, this is my life every day. I am actually quite the shackled-companion of those “dozens of 8-minute interval” snoozes. Frighteningly so.

I have absolutely nothing to live for it seems, no real reason to get out of bed in the morning except that it’s past noon and beyond reasonable to be in bed any longer. What kind of life is this really? A poor excuse for one, that is obvious. And I obviously want more, so what do I do about it? To change it? To go on? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I don’t try to change. To try new things. To find something to do. I don’t need to. I know what I want to do but I don’t do it. When I try, I am unsatisfied with the results and give up.

To be honest, I feel so STUCK. I have for a while now and I don’t know what to do about it. I am an artist, an author, but I feel so uninspired that I cannot draw or write. When I try to draw it’s nothing how I imagine it. So I give up. When I try to write, it never sounds quite right. It doesn’t flow the way I want it to. The story isn’t going anywhere. So, I stop.

I feel as though I’ve stagnated. That I’ve come to a point in my existence where I feel like I am not moving forward. There is this great uncertainty. I don’t know what to expect, everything is so unfamiliar, so elusive that it is terrifying.

And even though I don’t know what to expect, I know what I want:

“I know what I want. I know it so much that it hurts. My chest feels heavy with it. My mind fears it.”

I want to be a success. Not in the sense that I want to be some famous, well-known person, but I simply want to be able to support myself. To be stable and live. To be inspired and find the thing that I love most in the world and just by doing it I am filled with such joy, such imagination again that I feel as if I will burst from creativity if I do not get it down with paper and ink. I want to express to the world through my art, through my words all that I have learned on the journey called Life. I want to share everything with everyone. I want to learn and keep learning and never stop!

But that’s hard when your own mother tells you that you dream too big. That you can’t accomplish the aspirations you have concocted through years of daydreams no matter how hard you try. To pick something easier, simpler, so that you can’t fall short in the end.

I’m not blaming her. I understand where she’s coming from. She doesn’t want me to fall, to fail, to hit rock bottom and have nothing left to fall back on. I understand the reason but I am stubborn. I ignore her words. I want to dream, but it’s come to the point where I feel like all I have left are my dreams. And that that is all they will ever be: dreams, illusions created by a girl with no drive to actually go anywhere or do anything towards those goals. The day she told me my dreams were too big, was the day I began to doubt myself.

Now, I sit here and I stare at myself in the mirror and I want to cry because all I see is a girl who got lost somewhere along Life’s path and can’t figure out how to find her way again. A girl who is stuck, stagnant in the same place she’s always been and probably always will be. A girl who dreamed for the world from her home in a small rural farm town and began to doubt herself so much that now she is trapped by the very fear and anxiety that she created for herself.

I am lost. I am stuck. I feel like I cannot escape. And I am afraid.

I am afraid that this is all my life is going to be because I’ve dug myself into a hole and built the walls so high I cannot climb back up to see the light of day beyond me. Nothing but darkness and fear and anxiety to keep me company for all my days to come.

And that is daunting. Terrifying. PARALYZING.

Help me, please, because I am stuck and I need to be found again.

-Soleil

Just, Right Now….

Sometimes I get teary when I realize that I’m almost 26 and the longest relationship I have ever had was six months.

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And that I have had a pretty lousy date/relationship record so far, including an obsessive controller, a liar, and a cheater.

Personally, I think it’s rather hard to find someone to actually be in a relationship with. I live in a very rural area so it’s not like there are many guys around to choose from. When I’m in my university classes, my classmates are always much younger than I am (the downfall of being a 25 year old college student).

All I’m asking for is someone who understands (and if they share it, that’s a bonus) my appreciation of art, writing, and history. Who will actually want to sit and watch the same shows and movies as me (yes, I’m the girl who still likes to go to Disney and other animated movies because they’re cute and I adore them and animation is what I want to do for a career, so it’s cool to see animation in action) and who accepts that reading tons of books is a very fun hobby for me. That I like to watch anime and BBC and that I’m a Whovian through and through (PS. My favorite Doctor to date is Matt Smith as Doctor 11)! That I enjoy Sherlock and think Benedict Cumberbatch is fantastic as the consulting detective (Martin Freeman is an excellent addition and they compliment each other very well, talent-wise). That I want to travel and find inspiration in new places for my art and writing (I truly believe an artist cannot survive creatively stuck in one place)! I mean, I don’t think I’m asking too much.

But sometimes…I’m just lonely and I’m getting awfully tired of waiting for Mr. Right.

Sincerely Yours,

Soleil

 

The “NaNoWriMo-Is-Beating-Me” Update

NaNoWriMo has been kicking my butt. While I was able to plow through for the first couple of days, I hit a serious road block early on: I don’t know where I want the story to go.

It should be stated the story I chose to work on for the month was one I had been previously working on but I decided to re-write it because I wasn’t entirely sold on the manuscript I had already written. Unfortunately, this change has caused me to realize that I’m not happy with how the story has gone. It used to be a lot more fun than this and somewhere through all of the words and descriptions, character development and world building, scene transitions and dialogue, I got lost. So, I feel like I’m writing aimlessly which, in turn, feels rather pointless.

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I understand that NaNoWriMo is all about having a complete novel at the “at least 50k” mark but I’m one of those writer’s who would rather spend the time figuring out what I want and how I want it instead of needless writing unnecessary things just to reach a word goal. This is because that means I’ll just have so many thousands of more words to go through and take out when it comes to the final editing process.

What I really need to do is sit down somewhere where I will have no distractions and figure out what I want for this story. How I want it to change from the previous manuscript, why I want it to change from that, and where to start it.

Also, I seriously miss having Microsoft Word. I finally made myself buy a new Macbook Pro because the one I was using was a 1st Generation MB Pro and it wasn’t letting me use programs properly for my homework/schoolwork. Seriously, this Apple Pages application is such a pain!

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That being said, I think that’s enough for tonight. I’m going to post this and continue to sit outside with my parents in front of the fire we have going. It’s funny, because it’s about 47F outside but the fire is keeping us so warm that it’s pretty pleasant. The Christmas music is a nice touch, too, haha!

Look for my words again soon (because NaNoWriMo is ending in 9 days!)

– Soleil

Focus, Focus…Procrastination.

The thing about NaNoWriMo is that I know that I’m supposed to write. The problem is that I keep thinking of ideas for my Wholock fanfic comic instead of for my story I’m trying to write. So, I feel like this every time I sit down to make myself work on my book:

Blarg! Since it’s only the end of the first week, I’m hoping to have a great catch-up day where I am inspired with a bunch of ideas for my book not my comic and do a lot of typing! Because, currently, my ETC (estimated time of completion) on the NaNoWriMo website says I’ll finish my 50,000 word total by December 15th. That’s 15 days after the 30 day deadline!

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil

The Time-Consuming Thing That Is NaNoWriMo!

It’s NaNoWriMo! Let the literary war begin!

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The whole goal of this event is to complete a novel of at least 50,000 words by the end of November. Yes, it is quite crazy to write an entire book in 30 days, but that’s part of the fun!

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So, if I don’t post much this month, I’ll just apologize for that now. Spare time will be spent writing. Extra spare time between the spare time I spend writing will be dedicated to eating and sleeping so I can continue to power through this. Meanwhile, this will be my motivation for the month:

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Haha, a Whovian at hearts no matter what the challenge! Allons-y and Geronimo!

So, look for my words…eventually, haha!

-Soleil

The Spongebob Quote Goes “My Leg!”

My leg, it hurts. Ow, ow, ow. I’ve been groaning about my leg for about ten minutes now. I feel like the fish on Spongebob, who, no matter what happens but in every catastrophe on the show, cries:

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Like a fool who doesn’t like to to take medication, I didn’t fill my pain medication. I only filled the inflammation medicine. So, I’m resorting to icing. While this is a temporary relief, it is better than nothing.

In other news, I’m watching “Maleficent” with my parents (it’s not like I can go out anywhere). I did give it a rather strict review in a previous post once and that wasn’t even my full review of it. Anyway, watching it a second time, it does have its charm and graces, good animation and fair cast, but I’m still not a fan of how they humanized Maleficent.

In other, other news, I’m looking for a Critique Partner (aka CP) for my book I’ve been writing. I posted a classified ad on another wordpress blog, so let’s see what comes up. If any of you ahve suggestions, I’d be glad to hear them. I’ll keep writing after the movie.

Look for my words again soon.

-Soleil

Comic Collaboration: A Word To My Fellow WordPress Bloggers

I have, for some time, sincerely wished to start an online webcomic through my Deviant Art account page. However, I’m seriously lacking in the digital art field. So, while I can come up with all of these great story ideas to write about, and I can hand-draw my sketches and outlines for my comic, I cannot digitally ink or color it. I just don’t know how.

I have watched tutorial after tutorial and I STILL get it all wrong when I finally sit down to try it. My attempts always come out very poor. It’s very discouraging and I just end up frustrated.

I have tried, for some time now, too, over the summer, to ask fellow artists on Deviant Art if anyone would be willing to collaborate with me. I would do all of the story writing and I can handle designs, and then I can pass these drafts on to my collaboration partner to create a digital version of it that we can then upload onto Deviant Art for others to enjoy.

However, no one has responded to my asking and I grow disheartened still. So, let me ask you, WordPress community and fellow bloggers: Are any of you interested in helping me to create a webcomic we can publish to Deviant Art? Are any of you willing to be the digital artist while I am the writer and designer?

Please let me know with a comment below.

Sincerely,

Soleil

An Unanswerable Question, Perhaps, and the Problem With The “Fairest of All”

Hello! Good evening! Good morning! Which is it, huh? It says AM because it’s past midnight, but it’s still dark out, therefore still night time. So, so, which is it? Which is it, I demand to know!

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Yeah, me either.

So, anyway, I finished “Fairest of All” a few hours ago. The book I mentioned in my last post. You know the one. Well, you know the one I mentioned if you actually read my last post. (You guys aren’t slacking and just skimming through, right? -poignant stare-

Ahem, ahem, digressing again. Back to the topic on hand (dun dun DA!)!

The book is about 200 pages, a bit more or so, and tells the tragic backstory of the Wicked Queen from the fairytale of Snow White. Ah, but it’s apparently Disney’s version of her backstory, as written by Serena Valentino and published by Disney Hyperion. It seems that Disney has a sort of “Backstory Bug” nowadays. Serena Valentino has even published the next book I’m reading: “The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince”, which is the prelude to Beauty and the Beast’s story and how Prince Adam became a Beast in the first place. Because the simply wonderful prologue at the beginning movie (narrated by the enchantingly lovely voice of David Ogden Stiers -sighs appreciatively (ah, but you might know him better as the voice of Cogsworth, or Ratcliffe in “Pocahontas“, as Jumba in “Lilo & Stitch“, or as Kamaji in “Spirited Away“!)) apparently wasn’t enough justice to his story. Ah, but I can’t really knock the book until after I’ve read it, right?

That being said, that means I can give way to my opinion about Fairest of All at least. The tale itself was fine, but I felt it dragged on a bit too much at times. The Queen spiraled and there was a lot of unnecessary dialogue and descriptions that felt as if they were there to lengthen the story but not enhance it. Of course, they are trying to sell the reason of why the Queen became Wicked and wanted to kill her stepdaughter, Snow White for being Fairest in the Land over herself. It’s not a far-fetched concept, mind you, for why she grew to loathe her daughter…no, that’s not the right word because she kept saying she was doing it out of love. Really, basically, the Queen had convinced herself that what she was doing to Snow White was out of love and she was trying to protect the girl from the pain that love could bring and blah, blah, blah and other selfish nonsense.

So, as far as I’m concerned, this story can go in the same pile of rubbish that I placed the recent “Maleficent” movie into (you know the one, it just came out, with Angelina Jolie as the title character):

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And no, I didn’t like the movie. I thought it was silly. I didn’t like how Disney tried to make Maleficent more “humanized”, how they tried to make you feel sad for her and want to side with her. No! She is supposed to be the “Misstress of ALL Evil” here, folks! Personally, in my own opinion, Disney is starting a terrible trek down a road that is ruining their Villains Franchise. They’re called Villains for a reason.

Ahem, that is all about that topic. However, I am sort of hoping that Ms. Valentino’s next book which I will start tonight/this morning (still not clear on that one. XD), “The Beast Within” will be a better concept. Also, there are WAY more links in this post than in any of my others! Whew! XD

Look for my words again soon!

-Soleil