fireflys_locket: (Valerie's Happiness - fireflys_locket)
It's a new year, and I'm actually pretty excited about that. It's freeing to put away the complications of a long year and start fresh again. I felt pretty good at the beginning of last year, too. But this year might feel even better. Maybe there was just more I wanted to let go of. Truthfully, you can start fresh at any time, but this is a really powerful time to try.

I wrote out a post about what I wanted for 2013, and I decided to look back at it now and think about how the year went.

I've said this before, but I think 2013 was by far my best year when it comes to writing. I finished two first drafts in the first three months of the year. It was an emotional, bittersweet experience. For a while it was mostly painful, but I can look back with pride. (I put everything I have into writing first drafts, so it's definitely worth something at the end.) I spent most of the rest of the year working on the second drafts, resulting in about 15 nearly ideal chapters of fiction. In October, I took a little break from revision to start a new story. I also finished the first draft of my half of Spun of Silver, and got started on its second draft. And got very, very close to finishing the first draft of Miss Masquerade.

And almost all of that work was done without putting pressure on myself to constantly be getting stuff done. I didn't make sure I had something to show Jill every week. I chose to follow what I felt most called to work on at that moment... whether that was writing, revising, outlining, building houses, making Sims, sorting music (which sometimes leads to amazing new ideas), or even just relaxing and taking in inspiration. And it led to my most productive year ever.

I also did a lot of organizing in 2013. I didn't completely finish clearing a space for a new bookshelf and DVD cabinet, but I put a slow, consistent effort into sorting through stuff. I get really anxious when it comes to empty spaces in my room and letting go of possessions, so there was really no way to get this done more quickly. And I'm proud of myself for just getting this far. It may not seem like a big deal from the outside, but inside, it's a huge deal, trust me.

There were some things I didn't do so well with, though...

Health-wise, 2013 was a total flop. Well, I didn't get super sick or anything like that, which I'm quite thankful for. But I probably put the least amount of effort into eating healthy and exercising since I first started thinking about that stuff. If I'm honest about it, it's been a continual downward slide since my Grandma died in 2011. I don't know exactly why, but it's something I've noticed. And I don't really feel comfortable talking about weight and exercising, which maybe isn't helping. I do know that - like it or not - I am a very low energy person, and I have to be careful with where I put that energy. Last year, I chose writing. A lot. And I'm not exactly sorry about that. But I would like to put a bit more energy into health matters this year. If I could even just shift out of this downward slide a tiny bit, that would be great.

Another thing that suffered was reading. I only read 11 books in 2013. That's not even one per month. I've always been a slow reader, but this is pretty bad. Still, I actually know exactly what went wrong here. I spent most of the year reading books I felt like I needed to read over what I really wanted to read at the moment. I had books to review, books from writer friends, and books from writer acquaintances. That's not to say I didn't enjoy those books. I definitely did! (Well, except that book I reviewed. That, I could have skipped.) But I constantly had another book next on the list, instead of just following the flow of what was really calling me. Having everything scheduled is very draining to me. I like to have important necessities planned out, but when it comes to the rest of my time, I like randomness paired with intuition. There was a point where I wasn't even enjoying reading anymore, because I had turned reading into work. That's when I finally followed my intuition and took a break from my list to read some books I was really excited to read. I think I would have enjoyed the other books I read last year more if I had spaced them out better from the beginning. Lesson learned, I hope.

So, what do I want to do this year?

Well, I'd love to have another great year with writing. I learned a lot about revising and editing last year. Writing second drafts has really built my confidence as a writer. I'm finally pretty consistently proud of the work I'm doing. A lot of the time, revising has flowed exceptionally well, probably because I spent so very much time building a good base. But certain parts also had their difficulties. More than I expected. In that way, it's been both easier and harder than I expected it would be. That's why I'm hesitant to set any large goals this year. I think there's a good chance I could finish Magic Inc.'s second draft this year. But I'd also like to spend more of my time on Dreaming in Shadow. Then, there's Miss Masquerade. I don't think there's any chance I won't finish the first draft. And I'm excited to get started on the second draft. As for Spun of Silver and The Town of Raindrops, they are more side projects right now. But who knows? I just want to follow the flow of my inspiration wherever it takes me.

I want to get myself on a pretty regular sleeping schedule that lets me have the optimum amount of rest and time to get things done. For me, that's getting up at 8:30AM, getting my early morning stuff done by 10:30AM, leaving the rest of the day open, until 9:00PM when I relax in the living room with my Mom, then get to bed by 11:30PM. Yeah, I like to sleep 9 hours. It's what I usually need.

And once I get myself comfortably back on that schedule, I'll start trying to fit in more exercise with that extra time.

I'm definitely planning to get another bookshelf and cabinet in my room this year. I'm going to get the rest of the stuff off of my floor and binned. Hopefully, soon. (But like I said, I can't push it.) And we'll see what happens after that.

I'll try to read at least 12 books this year. Haha.

I'm still looking for more balance when it comes to friendships. I met a few new people. I occasionally connected with old friends. I think there were some improvements over 2012. But there were also times, I felt like giving up on socializing altogether. Ultimately, I'm still looking for my tribe.

As a big part of that, I'll (of course) keep calling in my soulmate. Because finding him will always be my most important goal. Until I do. Then, it will be creating a beautiful life together where we can support each other's dreams.

I want to wish you many blessings in the year to come. I hope you meet your goals and thoroughly enjoy the journey there, too.
fireflys_locket: (Glasses Girl - Collapsingnight)
November is over, and as it was ending, I finally got some writing done again. But honestly, I'm tired. It's been a long year. And I can feel the holiday depression starting to creep in. I think it's time to give myself a break. It's been a rough couple of months in terms of writing, with big highs and even bigger lows. And in all of that, I gave myself a lot of grief for not being like other writers who can, apparently, push through rough spots. If you can manage to succeed at NaNo, I am in awe of you. I still am not behind what it stands for, but hey, if it gets you writing, that's great. Everybody's different.

Except... I've yet to meet another writer who writes the way I do, with years of care and attention to that first draft, and having it be the very core of the story, only needing very small changes plot-wise. What I've heard from other writers varies between considering all first drafts to be garbage or thinking of them as only a light road map that will undergo a lot of changes. I also seem to work a lot slower than most writers, needing lots of recovery time if I push too hard. I know NaNo can be a great motivator for some people, but just the idea of it almost makes me sick with anxiety. I have discovered over the years that pressure does not motivate me. It breaks me, utterly and completely.

I don't know why my writing process is so different, but it's just the way I've always written. And it's what works for me. When I try to compare myself to other writers and their processes, it doesn't help motivate me to work harder. At best, I get a lot of work done over a few days but only end up completely drained and sick for weeks afterward. So, I really need to stop that.

Besides, the way I work has its benefits, too. Maybe I "lose time" relying on being rested and inspired to work, but what I end up with might need less polishing overall. All the time that goes into my first drafts has allowed me to be very confident in working on my second drafts. The second draft of Magic Inc. has gone amazing well, and I honestly believe it will only need a few read-throughs and small fixes before it will be ready.

But I have to admit, the second draft of Dreaming in Shadow has been a little more of a struggle. I still think it's going really, really well. But it's been a slower, more troublesome process. Between March and December, I've typed and revised 12 full chapters of Magic Inc. In that same time, I've only finished one full chapter of Dreaming in Shadow. It is a very long chapter, to be fair. Well, in comparison to the length I normally hit. But I think I know why this draft is progressing so differently than Magic Inc.'s.

First off, as of right now, I believe I will be publishing Dreaming in Shadow before Magic Inc., even though Magic Inc. will likely be done a lot sooner. Dreaming in Shadow was the first idea that overtook me, begging to be written. And I decided, nearly 10 years ago when that happened, that it was meant to be my first novel. So, I'm trying extra hard to make this the best draft it can possibly be. And that might be slowing me down a little. There's also a lot of exposition in the first couple of chapters, which has needed extensive pruning and revision. Most of the first quarter of this book was written nearly 10 years ago, and even though I've gone over those early parts several times, it still needs the most work. The earliest parts of Magic Inc. were only three years old when I started the second draft. I've also been trying to get more opinions on Dreaming in Shadow. So far, it's been hard to find people who have enough time and interest. But Jill gave me some feedback on what I had of chapter 2, and a few minor changes made me feel so much better about it.

There's still work to be done on both of these stories, for certain, but I think what I have is actually very good. I don't think I've ever felt as confident about my writing as I do about these second drafts. Will they ever be perfect? No. But nothing really can be objectively perfect, anyhow. I'll make them the best they can be. Meaning, I'll create in the way that produces my best results, which includes making plenty of room for rest and trying very hard to not compare my process to anyone else's.

And, somewhere between here and perfection, I'll be ready to share my novels with the world.

...hopefully. ^_^;
fireflys_locket: (Pinwheel Summer - fireflys_locket)
So, hey... I'm back. I'm just going to make this a quick one. I posted a longer explanation of why I've been missing, but I put it under a lock for now. It's been hard to write a normal entry after posting that one, so this one might be a little awkward. Things have gone back to normal in general, but I just want to get things back to normal here.

Though I haven't been around to say, writing has been going pretty well. I have 7 chapters of Magic Inc. revised and typed up. That story is flowing so well, so that's what I've been focusing most of my writing time on lately. I also started the second draft of Spun of Silver. I typed out 12 pages that day, which has got to be a record for me. Still working on that first chapter of Dreaming in Shadow. I'm not sure why I'm taking so long with that one. I guess it might be because I invited a lot of friends to read that prologue, and I want the first chapter to look really great before I show it off.

And then, there's Miss Masquerade, which has me dragging myself through the last bit of filler. I didn't so much finish the most recent chapter as give up on it (temporarily). It's been rough comparing how well my second drafts flow with how Miss Masquerade is going. It's really close to the climax, but it's so much harder to write than everything else I'm working on. Still, now that I'm done with filler, I'm hoping I'll at least be more excited to work on MM. That should help.

In some sadder news, a couple of people died recently. MaryAnn's Mom died after being in and out of the hospital a lot. It's been a long time since I've seen her, and I feel a bit bad about that. But mostly, I'm just sending blessings to MaryAnn and her family. And Ryan Davis, from Giant Bomb, also passed away. Though I never met Ryan, he's been pretty constant in my life since the end of 2006. Those Giant Bomb guys have gotten me through a lot of hard times, where the only thing that would get me through the day was constantly watching their videos. I believe both of these people have gone on to a better place, but it's still very heart-breaking to know they're gone from this world.


Blessings and love to all. Try to live the life that makes you happiest and treasure the time you have.
fireflys_locket: (Broken Heart Glasses - fireflys_locket)
Today, I made a decision. I was just finishing proof-reading a friend's book, and I decided. I went in my room, grabbed my notebook, and got to work. It wasn't what I was always expecting to happen, but I finished Magic Inc. Book One. My stomach is sick still, and I still feel like crying, but I finished a novel. Afterwards, I sat in shock for a while. Then, I crawled into bed with some nutella and Once Upon a Time.

I feel pretty bad. I guess I don't really know how to be happy or celebrate stuff, so I just automatically feel really bad instead. But then, I also never liked endings. And though there's so much yet to do, this is an ending. And there will be another coming soon. It feels like things either are or should be changing. If they are, I just hope it's a good change. I don't want to have another breakdown. But there's a part of me, which does want a good change. To feel safe enough to actually be happy.
fireflys_locket: (Kagome Hands - fireflys_locket)
Okay, deep breath. I was triggered really badly this past week. Looking back at the post, that did it, I can see that it was more of a build up of emotion than just a reaction to that one post. (But I think that's how a lot of triggers work.) It didn't help that Jill was out of the office last week. Sunday just left me feeling so miserable that I was scared. I felt like the mostly decent mood I'd kept up for a month was finally failing me, and I was crashing down to the ground. I had a couple of really bad days. Then, I started to realize something. I'd fallen back into this mode of stressing about writing and not letting myself rest without guilting myself about it. I had given myself a lot of pressure to get a lot of writing done while Jill was gone, and I did, but I ended up drained and easily triggered. Of course, I'm always easily triggered, but when your energy is low, it is hard to bounce back.

The other part was the writing I had done (and hadn't done). I decided to avoid writing the big climax of Dreaming in Shadow in favor of writing the hardest chapter of Spun of Silver. It may be the hardest chapter I'll ever have to write, on a personal level. In fact, I almost guarantee it. But I had decided to lay everything bare in this story. To make this version of me, the real me with my real issues. And I didn't want to gloss over things. If you're expecting an typical paranormal romance from my side of Spun of Silver, look somewhere else. I have high anxiety, body issues, and people issues. I've written myself as I am and Morgan as how I imagine him to be. Neither of us are your typical love interests. But there is love, and there is romance. And intensity. And passion. And that's going to have to be enough for you.

Anyhow, writing that chapter was such an emotional challenge for me. And not everyone I turned to understood. But some did, and I made it through. But I was still very drained.

The other thing I wrote over this time period was a very long chapter of Magic Inc., where Jane tells Jenny a fairytale. Parts of this fairytale have been around almost as long as Magic Inc., itself, but I had to strip away the parts, that weren't mine. After all, I had blended in a lot of stories into my secret world back then. At that time, I was creating it just for me, with no intention of ever writing it out. The fairytale flowed very well most of the way through, with some help from Ally recommending that I start watching Once Upon a Time. (She didn't even know I was working on a fairytale; it was just perfect timing.) So, I tried to busy myself with the fairytale to escape the emotions, that Spun of Silver had brought up in me. I won't exactly say I regret this, because I adore the fairytale, and I'm very proud of all the work I put into it. But instead of giving myself a rest after writing that difficult Spun of Silver chapter, I jumped right into the fairytale the very same day.

All of this mostly to escape the fact, that I was terrified to finishing Dreaming in Shadow. What was worse, was that I was ashamed of this feeling in the first place. I felt like I'd come so far from that place of being scared, and now, I was moving backward. But life doesn't always move forward in this straight line. It reminds me of the second episode of The Wonder Years, where Older Kevin says something about life being a series of advances and retreats. This is very much what I believe, but sometimes, we all get caught up in trying to push forward too quickly.

So, for a good week or so, I was really beating myself up about it. When being scared does actually make sense. I'm three chapters away from the end of the story that has stood by my side since before I left school. Three chapters away from ending my first novel. That's scary stuff. Sure, I need to be able to work through that fear and, eventually, come out on the other side with a finished novel, but avoiding acknowledging a fear doesn't make it go away. Avoiding feeling your feelings makes them worse in the long run. So, I'm scared. That's okay; this is important enough to work through. But it's also okay to work through it slowly. I was getting caught up in this idea of possibly finishing those 3 chapters in two weeks, when that is totally not how I work.

So, now, I'm trying to breathe. To rest, to feel. And just be okay with all of that. Today, I finished up the fairytale, which is the second to last chapter of Magic inc. Book One. When I posted that on Facebook, Audry said I was an inspiration. I immediately react to most compliments by brushing them aside. It's hard for me to feel good about myself, ever. But I am living my dream and being myself completely. And you know, those are always good things, even if it's me doing them. Yeah, that's the closest I get to giving myself a compliment. We're all works-in-progress, after all.
fireflys_locket: (Sparkling Lake (Valerie) - amillionicons)
I am a slow mover. Compared to a lot of people, I change very, very slowly. And actually, I like that about myself. I'm a constant. I'm reliable. Even when I do make a change, it's usually just growing to accept a part of me that was always meant to be that way. It makes sense.

Still, there are some changes I want to make this coming year. It's around the time to think about resolutions, and though you can make changes at any time, there is something, that feels sort of special about it. So, I thought I'd talk about my ideas for next year.

I'll barely make mention of finding my soulmate, because pretty much anyone, who knows me at all, will know that's the most important thing to me. But I also feel I need to make some more friends or at least rekindle some old friendships. I'm extremely lonely, and though I have friends I love, they are always so busy. Both of these hopes for the future really come down to finding relationships with a better balance. To be really important in someone's life. Important enough, that they will make our relationship a priority in their life. But there's only so much I can do about that right now. Basically, just be open to it and pray for it. I can't make people love me. So, let's move onto some things I have more direct influence on...

This year, I talked about ending the first draft of Dreaming in Shadow by the end of the year. That hasn't happened, though it's awfully close. I could still make it happen; I don't doubt that. But I'm not someone who needs to push themselves to prove a point. Times I've tried, I ended up with regrets. When it comes to writing, I usually hate whatever I write when I'm under pressure. I don't want to hate the end of Dreaming in Shadow! It's too important, and I'm nervous enough about other people hating it. So, I might not "succeed" in the traditional sense of meeting a goal, but I certainly put a lot of effort into it. That's good enough.

For next year, I want to actually finish the first drafts of Dreaming in Shadow and Magic Inc. Book One early on and get solidly into the second drafts of both stories by the end of the year. It also would be nice to finish up the first drafts of Miss Masquerade and Spun of Silver by the end of next year as well. That's a lot of work to be done! Again, I'm not going to give myself too much pressure. This is one of those goals I'm going to put effort into, but I'm not going to make any huge changes in how I'm going about it. The exact goals are not as important as the idea, that I just want continue to progress.

There is one goal, which requires an actual change. I'm probably not willing to make as much of a change concerning this issue as people would recommend, but I'm making a compromise I know I can actually live with. I talk a lot about my issues in this journal, but I don't think I've touched on this one very much. I'm basically a mini-hoarder. Well, not in the sense of like having old pizza boxes or 40 cats or anything that self-destructive. I have a lot of interests, and I like buying things. This results in a lot of stuff. I'm not going to stop buying things, because I never spend more money than I have, and I need to constantly be able to have just the right thing to inspire me at just the right time. I've already started to release some things that no longer serve me, like books I know I'll never read again. And it feels good to make donations, but I still have a lot of stuff.

I think it's not the amount of stuff so much as what I do with it. I've used my stuff kind of as a nest to keep me safe. It's something that I've done since I was little, and it does need to change. I like a little organized chaos, but I've been feeling things are getting out of hand, even for me. I have pile of stuff basically as wide, long, and high as my bed. Things have been bad like this for a long time, but I've come into a place in the last year of getting more money than I'm used to on a regular basis, and more than ever before, I am not able to sort through the incoming stuff even a quarter as fast as it is accumulating. I know, it's a curse of abundance. But I'm also running out of places to put the things I'm keeping. My bookcase is getting stuffed, and even after removing my CDs and putting them on their own shelf in the basement, my cabinet won't take long to fill again. I need more shelves and cabinets for storing things, but that pile needs to get out of there first, because there is literally no place to put any more furniture in here.

So, next year, I am going to get a bunch of huge plastic bins and finally sort through everything in that pile. I expect this to be a hard job, both physically and, even more so, emotionally. But this is something that needs to happen in my life, and it needs to happen soon. I've already spent a lot of time going through old toys and such in the basement, and I need to get that job done first, but I think it's been preparing me for this job. Maybe I'll document the process a little. And hey, I'll probably find some really cool stuff at the bottom of the pile. Or just really silly stuff like my long lost Aaron Carter CDs. Yeah...

And there's one other big thing I want to do next year. I want to work a little more exercise into my regular schedule. I really don't feel comfortable talking about dieting or exercise or anything that involves my body - it's a Social Anxiety thing - but I do want to make that change in my life.

Now, to distract you from that last paragraph, I want to share these videos with you about making changes from Gabby Bernstein. She was there to inspire me during the switch of 2011 to 2012, and now, she's doing the same thing this time around. The reason I'm making this post is that she says it's helpful to write out your goals and share them with others to get support. I hope she inspires you, too, if there are changes you want to make for the new year. Share those with me, if you feel like it!

Just in general, I really would love it for people to respond to my entries. (I know they've been sparse lately. Apologies.) Even if you're usually pretty quiet, always feel free to talk to me about anything. I am honestly one of the nicer people you'll ever meet. My therapist has been telling me I might need to actually invite people like me to come out of lurk mode, and it finally seems like the right time to start.

I love you all!
fireflys_locket: (Happy Lean (Clare) - retropd_icons)
My November didn't start out that great, but since then, it's been buzzing with mostly good things. Including lots of writing!

I'm back on track with Dreaming in Shadow. I took a couple months break from it, and I'm finding that was a really great idea. I'm so excited about it right now, as I head through to the end. If you want get a taste of the excitement, check this post. I have my work-in-progress synopsis there, as well as some other fun details.

Magic Inc. is even closer to its first draft being finished. So, the "race" is still on to see which story will be my first full draft of a book. I'm more excited about Dreaming in Shadow as a novel, at the moment, but I'm more excited about Magic Inc. as a series than just about anything. I just keep pushing through the first book, so I can get to the exciting things coming later in the series.
fireflys_locket: (Dance Suprise (Clare) - degrassijunk)
Okay, deep breath. Things are going better, much better than last week. The drama from last week faded, and I got a ton of writing done, due in part to some lovely fic inspirations. I wrote 3 whole chapters of Magic Inc., one of which was 9 pages long, and a little selection from the future. I don't know why I seem to have some really good weeks, then some really bad weeks, when it comes to writing, but I'm just going to go with it. I'll write when I feel it pulling me, and I won't when it's not. That's just how I seem to work now. (Somebody remind me of this next time I start moping about a couple of poor writing weeks...)

I even went with a friend for lunch and a movie on Friday. I really wanted to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but it's still not anywhere near here, sadly. We saw Hotel Transylvania instead. It was cute, and it had a bit of a soulmate theme to it, which I always love! I just want to find my zing. *Sighs* Please, don't make me wait until I'm 118!

But back to writing... I'm sure I've mentioned that Dreaming in Shadow is to be my first published novel. Well, that's what I always thought, anyway. When I came up with the idea for the story at the end of 2003, I was certain of it. But now, nearly 9 years have passed, and Magic Inc. has become my main writing passion. In a way, this is a good thing. Not that long ago, I was scared out of my mind about finishing Dreaming in Shadow. Now, I'm excited about it. (Mostly.) And Magic Inc. has at least 10 books, just in the main story. What I'm writing now is just the beginning, and it will be a very, very long time before I have to worry about it ending.

But see, there's a part of me that worries if I let Magic Inc. Book One be my first novel instead of Dreaming in Shadow, I will be letting my 14-year-old self, whom I promised DiS to, down. Though in a way, it will be validating my poor dear 9-year-old self. (And in some ways, I like her better. I made a lot of my worst mistakes at 14. But that's a story for another time...) But really, it isn't a contest... or a race. Both books will get finished eventually. One will be the first, and the other will have the benefit of more experience. Though it's likely they'll both be finished around the same time. And who knows, maybe Miss Masquerade will sneak up on both of them? Okay, I doubt that one, but still... all three are quite on the right track, so things are - and will be - as they should be.
fireflys_locket: (Fortune Teller Clare - fireflys_locket)
It's been too long since I wrote a blog post. Even though it's September, I'm not quite out of my yearly Summer stress. I can almost feel the relief around the corner, but getting through the last few days has been a huge struggle. I guess the Summer wants to go out with a bang... or maybe, it's just trying to take me with it.

The most recent stress was me looking at Magic Inc.'s possible 15 books and feeling like there was no way I could write all of that and keep everything straight. And coming from that, I found myself worrying about what I'm going to do about an editor, which I felt was something I needed right around the corner. I did a little reading on the topic for the first time, and though I also was very discouraged by the references to needing writing classes and such, I did come out of that post feeling it really wasn't time to worry about an editor yet, after all. I'm close to the rewriting stage, not the proof-reading stage; I'd kind of put them together in my mind up until now. What I will need soon are some people, who can read the story as I go through the rewriting stage and tell me what they think of the plot and the characters. But I'll explore that idea in a few months or so. For now, it's just time to get back to writing.

I actually haven't been writing much the past couple of weeks, partly to do with the above stress, but I was working on something important. I probably spent about 8 hours building and decorating the Parker house from Magic Inc. on The Sims 2. I'd gotten to a point in the story, where I needed a good idea of exactly how the house looked. I'm not very good at making houses, and other than the Thompson house, I haven't put much effort into building homes for my characters. It's also the biggest house I've ever made. Perhaps even bigger than the Farraday house, which I didn't build - only decorated. I almost gave up early on during the building, but I'm really glad I didn't, because the house looks lovely. I can't believe I actually built it!

I've also been working on some smaller creative things like story-naming and sorting soundtracks. Something that's come up during this time is that I really would like to be getting back to writing Wandering Spirits, the story Christen and I have been working on for many years. Christen has written a lot of her side, but I've always had more trouble with it. Though it was my idea and offer that sparked the story, I wish I had a better grasp on it. My side of the story entails a bold and fiery summoner priestess and self-hating new vampire traveling together to capture an escaped spirit causing havoc. I have a great understanding of Hermia and Kadis and their relationship and journey, and also, how those two interact with Christen's characters, when that time comes. What I don't have a good feel for is the world they live in, the time period, and what's going on around them (aside from main plot points). Mostly, I'm used to writing modern fantasy, and this story takes place quite a bit back, even though it's in the same universe as all my other stories.

While I'm on that subject, one thing I definitely want to encourage people to do is check out Christen's new site, where you can find the first few chapters of the story she's hoping to have published. It's likely to be very dark from what I know of it, but if you don't mind that, please give it a chance. Christen is an amazing writer, so you won't regret it!

And one last thing for now, I realized this week that my unused Twitter was spamming people with my Youtube likes. (And I like a lot of videos, too...) Oops! Well, I fixed that problem, and I finally realized, why not actually use that account? I know other writers, who use Twitter to keep their fans updated. (I know the idea of me having fans seems quite silly, but still...) It seems too much of a hassle to go on Twitter specifically to make posts I'm not sure anyone will read, so I linked it to my Facebook. Twitter will now post my public posts, among a few other things. I make a lot of public posts about writing, so if you want to keep up with me that way, feel free! I'll follow you back if I recognize you, though I'm pretty Twitter shy... as with most places.

I hope everyone is doing well, and I hope to catch up with you again soon.
fireflys_locket: (Pillow for Morgan - lovestruckicons)
Wait, check the calender. It's May. May. Not March. Right, got it.

But to my point. I'm writing stories. Hopefully, you already know this. If not, I'll fill you in... I'm actively writing 4 stories: Dreaming in Shadow, Miss Masquerade, Magic Inc. (Book 1), and Spun of Silver. The first three of those stories aproximately follow a school year, at least for most of the story. And somehow, they are all stuck in March, waiting for the big things that start to happen in April or May.

The strange part is that, in my life, March has been a month of changes. Often, painful in one way or another. But it doesn't seem to be happening in the way I've lined up these stories. Or maybe, I should say that I'm now trying to make it happen, and I'm having issues. I do think that I'm on the path of figuring out how to make March a month of changes for Miss Masquerade and Dreaming in Shadow, but Magic Inc. is being resistant. If only I could remember 4th grade better. And I thought I had a great memory...

I have to say though, that writing is going extremely well lately. Last week, I wrote over 15 pages, which is insane for me. And this week, I've already written about 8. The reason seems to be pretty simple. Truthfully, my emotions have been all over the place. And I really started to wonder if my writing - Spun of Silver, in particular - was fueling my depression, or if my depression was fueling my writing. As in most cases, I think it was a little of both.

But why is it so much harder for me to write Spun of Silver, when Magic Inc. is also directly about me? The simple answer there is that SoS me is the real me, the right now me... as close as it can be. And even though, as the writer, I know that Morgan loves me endlessly, this me is full of doubts and scared. Just as the real me is terrified of never finding her soulmate. Every word I write is completely true and real for me. And this feeling I have now is wondering if Morgan can feel me where ever he is out there. I feel like I keep calling out with no response. How do you not start to fill with fear and doubts when that happens?

Instead, all I want to do lately is sleep. And dream. And write. I need to live in the places, where even the ignored, unpretty little girl, who nobody wanted, who nobody's ever even kissed, has a soulmate. And he loves her endlessly.
fireflys_locket: (Hagu Opens Box - fireflys_locket)
The weekend is over, and I actually got some writing done! I'm well into a new chapter of Miss Masquerade, and I finished a chapter of Magic Inc. that I've been struggling with. And strangely, I still feel inspired and productive. The bad part is, I'm mostly feeling tempted to start on a new story or skip ahead in the stories I am working on - the second one being really bizarre for me. I think that, other than Miss Masquerade, I'm not at particularly emotional parts in the stories I'm writing. That what I feel like writing, though. Or something clever like the final twist. But hey, I wrote this week, so I'm pleased.

I also received my order of decants from The Posh Peasant. I haven't talked about it much (or maybe at all) here, but over the last year, my Aunt has gotten me way into perfume. I mostly have Avon perfumes and body sprays from Bath & Body Works. I haven't really gotten into the more expensive perfumes, because even though I have some money to spend now, it feels like way too much to pay $50-$60 or more for one bottle. I feel like buying a new game or anime series is more worth my money due to the creative energy it can build in me.

But I've got to admit, I am starting to find perfume inspiring. Something about a beautiful scent wrapping you up while you are writing can feel like it is adding to the creativity. Even ironically, when what you are writing is Miss Masquerade. Hehe. I'm probably giving Sapphira a headache. Poor Dear.

Anyways, instead of buying one big bottle for $50, I'm getting to try 7 beautiful scents recommended to me by my Aunt and members of Fragrantica. Somehow, that seems more worth it, at the moment. I am kind of hoping I'll find one or two of these more expensive scents that I can't live without, though I'll probably have to make myself set aside $20 a week or something to make me feel like I'm not wasting money. Not that it is a waste, exactly, but when you're used to not spending more than $10-$20 on perfume, it's hard to get used to paying more.

Speaking of being not used to paying more, I feel the same way about jewelry. But half as a Valentine's gift to myself and half as a "work expense", I bought this pendant while it was on sale. I saw it a year or two ago, but was put off by the price and some of the reviews. Still, the necklace gave me a story idea, and it became a central part of Magic Inc., so I thought about it a lot. Then, I saw it when checking out the Valentine's Day jewelry sale. I couldn't pass it up again now that I have the money. And I'm happy to report that the necklace is beautiful and exactly as I imagined. I'm not sure what is going on with the reviews.

I'm still feeling the Valentine Blues, probably partially because I'm catching up on the emails I ignored while it was actually going on. Maybe that wasn't the best idea, after all. Just makes it feel like it lasts longer. At least, I'm dogsitting for a couple of days. When I get overwhelmed with sadness, I just stop what I'm doing and just pet Mandy for 5 minutes. It helps, but I can't help thinking how much I want Morgan to be here with me. Where could I possibly find him?
fireflys_locket: (Clare Cute - clarebear7)
I've been so busy this week, and for the first time in awhile, it had nothing to do with my Grandma's house. Such a relief. I did stop by there with Jan and Paul once to feed Grandma's stray cats. We saw four kittens! It was the fist time I can remember seeing such small ones all year. Jan and I also picked some sweet peas. It was nice. I know I'm going to miss the house a lot when I can't go anymore.

So, this week's busy was mostly to do with writing. I started last weekend off by working on Miss Masquerade while playing with Sapphira's family on The Sims 2. It's such a fun way to write. I started to think about some of the characters that don't have last names, since I couldn't make them as sims unless I gave them some sort of last name. So, with the help of my Mom doing some research on Italian surnames, I found a last name for Sylas. I wrote it on the notebook I keep on my desk and glanced at it over the week. Everytime I did, I still really liked it. I'll probably make him (and his brother) soon.

Tuesday, while I was doing laundry, I was thinking about book names for my Magic Inc. series. I only had titles for the first 3 books. I was also thinking about my old Harry Potter series, which had many of the same themes. (It was probably because I've been reading a HP fanfic over this month. A great read, by the way.) I thought about the parallels between the world I was making up just in my head and the fanfiction I was writing out. I realized that with a little work, I could use some of the old titles. Now, I have great titles for the first 6 books and tentative ideas for the following 2. Putting those titles into place on my timeline made me end up spending a good hour or so getting some other stories lined up. Now, I have 15 of the busiest years in place.

I also finished the Miss Masquerade chapter that I hadn't quite finished. And I was super nervous about that part. Sapphira has a dream, whose effects I had planned for ages, but I hadn't figured out what exactly was going to happen. I was almost sick about it until Thursday, when I showed Jill. She loved it. I kept asking her for opinions, since she studies dreams, but she had a hard time not just saying how much she liked it. Hehe. I still think it needs a little work - it feels quite raw, like most parts of Spun of Silver - but I do feel better about it now. Or maybe it's supposed to feel raw, considering Sapphira's reaction to it? Hmm.

Yesterday, I spent the day with my Mom, then we picked up Joe around 6PM to go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Believe it or not, it was only my third time. Yeah. That's insane for me. Just goes to show how busy it's been with my Grandma's house. *Sighs* Anyways, I enjoyed it so much... cried lots... but I also started getting ideas for an upcoming Miss Masquerade chapter. It's a blessing and a curse. The better - or more inspirational - the movie, the more likely I am to start feeling like I need to write or think about my own stories at some point. That's why I enjoy watching movies at home by myself best. I can pause whenever I want to for a 10 (or more) minute break. It happens all the time.

Today, I wrote about 5 pages of Dreaming in Shadow, finishing up a chapter I've been working on for a few weeks. The first half was action-oriented, which is not my favorite or best type of writing, but the second half was full of emotion. I had such a great feeling while writing, and I found some great songs to fit with it. One is a song from the newest season of Degrassi. Fits so well. Goodness, I love Degrassi music. <3

I've been totally in love with Degrassi, of course. I'm trying to not overwatch this season, though. I watched the Boiling Point episodes so many times that I'm kind of sick of them. I don't want that to happen again. I still love interactions between Clare and Eli, though I'm not sure they should get back together. I like Imogen in a character appreciation-type way. I'm not so crazy about Jake. He's sweet sometimes, but I can't see him being a long-term match for Clare. I wish there was more Adam, though I know they need to deal with older characters storylines right now. Speaking of that, I just knew they didn't bring in a pretty young teacher without plans for a student/teacher relationship. I like it so far, though I miss Sav/Anya still.
fireflys_locket: (Bittersweet Memories - _lisichka_)
Last night, I went back to my Grade/Middle School. Okay, when I typed that, I burst into tears. I didn't cry at all yesterday. It was too much of a shock. I knew I'd cry today. I have to get the emotions out.
 
So much was the same. Yet, it was all different. I saw kids with unfamiliar faces in my precious uniform. It was so surreal. I saw statues I knew so well. And the computer room with all new computers, but the layout was just the same. I could almost see myself in my old seat. And Seth... but I'll try not to go too far into that.

The trip was part emotional... okay, all emotional but part research. Now that I'm writing Magic Inc., my school is one of the most important places in the story. I may never name it directly, but the story is about me... and my school is so much a part of me. I took lots of pictures, though I wasn't able to get more than about half of what I wanted. Still, going back the first time was the hard part.

The things that changed the most were the teachers. Only three of my teachers are still at the school. I talked to each of them for probably a good 10 minutes each. I went over getting my GED and wanting to self-publish. They were all really supportive. My Mom has seen a lot of my teachers at the Library from time to time. I hadn't seen Mrs Dorfi in a long time, but my Mom had told her at some point about my trying for the GED. She was really happy I got it. Mrs. Alford was surprised I wasn't working at 21, but she's the one who hadn't really heard anything about what happened to me during high school, so it was understandable. I told her I was a full-time writer. Which is really true now more than ever...

I saw Mrs. Smith, who is now the principal, almost as soon as I got inside. And I'm glad, because she made me feel so welcome. I was kind of scared I might be in the way, but that wasn't the case at all. <3 I felt really loved. Anyways, Mrs. Smith reminded me about her offer for me to read to the kindergartners sometime. (I'm really nervous, but I think I'll try to do it.) She also said I could plan my class's reunion in 2013. Haha. I told her I couldn't be the one to call around, but I'd be happy to help with other parts of setting up!

Goodness, how much I would enjoy that... People who read this may or may not realize, but I know I love that school about as much as any student could. And I really appreciated it every second I was able. I was a smart girl. And what I mean by that is that I cherished my memories there, even when they were mostly bittersweet. And you'd better believe if I was going to have children, they would be going to school there. Even though I wouldn't exactly consider myself a Catholic anymore, I do still believe in quite a lot of what I was taught there. It made me who I am. I don't know how I would have survived public school.

*Deep breath* It was really tough, but I'm so glad I went.
fireflys_locket: (Blinded Heart - magical_barbie)

Or has it just begun?

I just wrote probably the most difficult beginning to a story I will ever have to deal with. Starting a story is always hard because you want to get those opening lines just right, but that wasn't even the problem here. The beginning was actually very well formed. Because I've thought about it over and over again. For the past eleven and a half years.

...yes, I'm serious. More than half my life.

Magic Inc. is the story of my life... or the life I wanted. Filled with magic and love and real friends (which I didn't have for a long time). It was my imaginary life. And I didn't want to let it go ever.

It wasn't intended to be a story, but since leaving school, my stories began interweaving more and more. And suddenly, any idea that felt important needed to be a story. And no story was ever more important.

I knew it had to happen. I knew it would be hard. But it's impossible to fully prepare for this kind of heartbreak.


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