May the 24th be with you–wait, what?

One of my 2015 goals should have been updating this blog more often than the 5 odd times each year, but ahh sometimes I just feel like I have nothing to ~report, you know? Like at this point in time and space, I’m not writing 24/7 or even 15/6 due to working FT and other Life Duties. Progress is steady, but slow-ish… and do I really need to blog about revising a single chapter or finally conquering a pesky paragraph of dialogue? I mean, that’s what twitter is for, right?

DESPITE THE ABOVE PONDERING, I’ve decided that I should definitely document progress or whatever at least once in a while, sooo here goes~

The first draft of my current work-in-progress ETERNITY CHASERS has been written. Right now, I’m doing the first round of revisions, i.e. my own read-through and my own major editing of the entire manuscript. Basically during the first draft stage, I write like the wind. It’s almost like word vomit except not as gross, but pretty messy. WORDS EVERYWHERE which basically equals me devoting a lot of time to clean up. That’s how I roll, and that’s what works for me. It’s just a slooow process since I tend to go into perfectionist mode and will literally spend days on a single paragraph until I think it’s as good as it can be.

I’ve split ETERNITY CHASERS into four parts (the first five chapters can be found here actually!), and right now I’m hardcore revising the second part. Yup, I’m not even half way through which is frightening to me. Like am I EVER going to be finished? WHY IS THIS TAKING ME SO LONG? DOES IT MEAN I’M NOT CUT OUT FOR THIS? WHY AM I SUCH A FAILURE BLAH BLAH BLAH. You know how it is. Whenever these questions plague me, all I can do is think about my 2015 Rules to Live By. Be positive! Shake it off! Keep trying! Endurance is key and I need to keep going NO MATTER WHAT. I know I can do this, and I want to do this. And in time, I will.

My current goal (ahahhahaha goals) is to be finished revising this by the end of summer. Crossables crossed that by the end of August, I will be able to email my CP(s…? More on this below) and be like, “YO, MY MS IS FINALLY READY FOR YOU TO READ AND TEAR APART. HAVE AT IT!”

Yeaaah, so as of now I only have one official CP (the dauntless/wonderful/hilarious Jen Ellision). Jen is and has been super helpful and encouraging with all of my random, manic texts and emails. If it was up to me, I wouldn’t care about finding other CPs because I already have a great one. However, I know that I need at least ONE other. I do have beta readers (hi, family! hi, friends whom I pushed this task upon!), but I know I need someone else to crack open my MS, help mend the cracks and polish this baby up. I am not entirely sure where to begin the search, but this is definitely something I will have to think about soon.

Aaand that’s pretty much the status of Writing Things.

In other news, I’m off to New York City on Tuesday for BEA 2015! This will be my fourth year attending and excited would be a grave understatement for my feelings about this upcoming trip.

Advertisements

Greatest Hits of 2014. Or: Stuff I Did This Year and Am Proud Of

*Insert exclamatory lament about the year being over here* But no, REALLY.

Last year I made a list of 14 goals that I wanted to complete in 2014. As is the case with most lists of this calibre, I did not complete all 14 items. There are no (major) regrets here because even though I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do, I was still able to do some pretty cool/different/important stuff. With that said, here’s a list of stuff I did do in 2014.

1. I ran a 5K. Twice, actually! The first one was in July and it was the YA Runs a 5K which was hosted by Melody and Susan, and although I participated ~virtually~, this actually marks the first time I’d attempted to run a 5K while actually calculating the distance. A few months later in September, I participated in the Terry Fox Run and ran an official 5K. Seriously, three years ago, I never would’ve thought that *I* would be someone capable of running a half marathon or even down the block (believe me, I had tried and FAILED). So this was definitely an accomplishment 😀

2. I attended BEA in NYC. JUNIOR YEAR, yo (lol). Yes, for the third time I met up with my beloved bevy and attended Book Expo America. I just realized I never really wrote a post on this blog about it, but Jen put together a recap at the bevy blog here and here which document merely fractions of our fun, memorable. Every year, the bevy becomes more important in my life, and IDK what my life would be without this yearly trip. (I guess we’ll find out in 2016 since it’s moving out of NYC O_O)

3. I won NaNoWriMo! YEAAAAAAH, I wrote a novel! Sorta. I wrote 50K of Verona Horse Mermaid 2, and it’s basically super rough draft and it’s true, half of that may get cut out when I go revise it, but whatever! This year, NaNo taught me that I can wake up super early and devote daily sessions to writing–something I’d never been able to get a grip on before.

4. I got a raise. Okay, it wasn’t any giant astronomical raise, but its my first raise since I started working with this company, and it was a big deal to me. If you’ve ever had the pleasure (…) of being on the listening end of one of my angry work tweets, then you’ll know that I… well, my job is kind of ridiculous in the grand scheme of my life. I mean, catheter technician… LMAO. Despite that, a job is a job, and I do put forth mounds of effort and dedication even though it’s not exactly my (or anyone’s) dream job. So to get a raise–to be recognized for that effort… It was a good feeling.

5. I attended TIFF. Despite the always stressful ticket selection process, I adoooore the Toronto International Film Festival for many reasons. This year I got to see a bunch of really cool, non-typical films: Tokyo Fiancée (a quirky, cute Belgian film about a French-speaking girl who wants to be Japanese), Madam Bovary (an adapation of the classic novel which featured this guy who looked EXACTLY like Tom Hardy but was NOT Tom Hardy), The Imitation Game (my opinions on Benedict Cumberbatch aside, this film was amaaazing. So well done. Oscars, plz), Une Nouvelle Amie (omg, I can’t even get into this but it was French and involved a cross-dresser and it was funny, but strange, but entertaining), and The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (an informative and preciously wonderful documentary on Studio Ghibli and Hiyao Miyazaki). With the exception of Madame Bovary, I adored all of these films and I’m super glad I got to see them because they likely won’t be released here in Canada/North America. Another reason why I enjoy TIFF so much is because it’s the one time a year I get to hang out and catch up with my best friend who although lives just a couple of blocks away, I hardly ever get to see. Just us, and nobody else. Well, except the celebrities. SPEAKING OF, I SAW ANSEL ELGORT IN THE FLESH. What what! Also Max Irons. And Benedict Cumberbatch for a second time…

6. I saw The Lion King, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch on stage. To see a musical I’ve never seen before is always a goal on my annual unofficial list of goals. This year, I got to see two and they were extremely different from each other. The first was the Disney classic: The Lion King. PEOPLE, I CRIED SO MUCH. Like as soon as the first note was sung, I BAWLED. As the “animals” appeared on stage, specifically those giraffes, I was Alice-in-Wonderland-style drowning in a room of my tears. I don’t know. It was just so well done. The second was super cool because I had studied Hedwig in university (my Lit prof was into …nontraditional literature) so I’d seen the movie and knew some of the songs. Then later that summer I’d attempted to watch a stage version, but my friends and I got lost and missed the show. Years later, I was finally able to catch a show and it was AMAZING. It’s one of those shows that you really need to watch to understand because you need to be IN the audience, and when you are, it’s just an unforgettable experience. The cast (only 2 cast members + the band) were great–so great that I went to see the show a second time.

7. I finally watched the last episode of Shingeki No Kyojin (Attack on Titan). So this is a Big Deal because I never finish tv shows save for Battlestar Galactica and LOST (and let’s not discuss those endings, yeah?). For whatever reason, I just don’t like watching the last episodes or I’ll just stop watching a show. SNK isn’t over yet, but for more than a year I avoided watching the final episode until a couple of weeks ago and omggggggggggg. In related news, I think the reason I don’t like finishing shows is because of the inevitable withdrawal after it’s over. Because I’m feeling a COLOSSAL void right now. (Haha, colossal. Get it? GET IT?)

8. My short story was published! YAAAAS! My short story “This Job is Only Temporary” was published in Inaccurate Realities‘ time travel volume in January. It was a nerve-wracking experience, but one I’m grateful for. It’s beyond cool that I have an ~officially published~ story out in the world that people beyond my friends and CPs can read. It was also definitely encouraging.

9. THREATS OF SKY AND SEA was published! Now, this obviously isn’t something that *I* did, but it is something that happened this year that I would consider important in my life because I would kinda consider myself like a godmother to Jen’s baby (i.e. her debut novel which you can find more info on hereeee). To quote fellow bevy member KT, Jen is one of “mah people,” as well as one of my CPs, so it isn’t any surprise that I continue to be proud of her for this accomplishment, and cannot wait for 2015 because hellooooo I need the sequel in its entity!

10. STARWARSSTARWARSSTARWARSSS. Although Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn’t come out for another year, 2014 marks the year of the official moment when I realized “Holy crap, it really IS returning into my life.” Yes, Star Wars never left my life, but all of the anticipation and waiting on the prequel films to come out had. I thought I was done with that stuff. But nope–it’s back, and this year we got the cast, a title, and a teaser trailer. HELP ME OBI-WAN KENOBI, HOW AM I GONNA DEAL IN 2015?

I”m sure I could come up with 4 other items for a solid 14, but I DO WHAT I WANT. With that said, Idek what’s going to happen in 2015 (except for me watching Star Wars VII~~~), but I really feel like this year was a prequel in itself. Does that make sense? Probably not. I’ll explain more tomorrow.

BYE 2014.

ETA: Dang, this isn’t a greatest hit or something I’m proud of, but I NEED to document the fact that 2014 is the year it was ~revealed that Hello Kitty isn’t actually a cat and WHAT EVEN. I am still like perplexed and shocked and tbh, this really did change me and make me question my identity. (Am I really a human? Am *I* really a cat?)


It’s ACTUALLY a starless night tonight. Or: Happy October 25th.

Once upon a time, I didn’t really pay attention to the finite details of celestial activities and randomly chose “October 25th” as The Date that STARLESS NIGHT takes place. This is way back when it was called “The Lovestruck 12” (a play on clocks and romantic entanglements) and more about …well, clocks and romantic entanglements. So although the title has changed, the story has evolved, and I’m now full aware that the peak of the Orionids meteor shower is actually on October 21/22, I always think upon today’s date with fondness, especially when it falls on a Friday. A FRIDAY THAT ALSO HAPPENS TO BE A STARLESS NIGHT DUE TO RAIN.

Anyway, there is no actual point to this blog post except to note the date and the weather. Also, to post this photo of my daily word calendar which strangely mentions clouds and a storm.

oct25

Ah, I guess while I have this text box open I might as well include on update on life and writing. Let’s do this the point form way.

• I signed up for Pinterest. It’s super addictive. My boards and pins are here

• I posted a snipped of FNTF and the first two chapters of Verona Horse Mermaid on fictionpress just for fun. I think I might post the next few chapters of VHM before the year ends just because it feels so lonely just sitting there in its scrivener folder. It’s definitely the most FUN story to write, so yes. I’ll be updating some more.

• November is one week away and I’m totally planning on writing for NaNoWriMo again. This year I shall be going to Never Never Land! No title yet, but I’m referring to it as The Neverland Remix (simply because that is what it is. It’s not about DJ spinning tracks in Neverland or something)

• I cosplayed as Han Solo in the summer. Halloween is next week, but I’m still not sure if I’m dressing up. Time shall tell.

• During the summer, I attempted Camp Nano in July. I only hit about 12K, but a good fraction of my brain is still highly invested in the story. That WIP is being referred to as The Space Errand. It’s like Medieval Times in Space with some French Rev thrown into the mix.

• Clearly, I have WAY too many works in progress in my life right now. I love it, but my brain is allllll over the place. Thank goodness for Pinterest!

And that’s pretty much it! As I mentioned, Nano is soon and that means there shall definitely be a pre-Nano post of lamentations and freaking out next week. Until then, adieu~


What I learned in NYC. Or: A recap of this year’s trip to La Grande Pomme.

nyc13-5Three weeks ago marked the return of a crew of extremely dauntless individuals to New York City. They found a new resting place in a little apartment on top of a bakery in Chelsea and would occasionaly venture out for mostly book-ish things and sometimes chipotle (chi-poh-tell). Here are the lessons that were learnt…

1. Duane Reade saves lives.
That’s a little melodramatic. Or is it? Many trips to this drug store were made for items of all sorts. Beverages, hair products, saltines, toothpaste, Cheetos, and other items I dare not specify.

2. Anything can happen on public transit.
Authors might randomly show up while you’re talking about their books. Drivers of luxury buses might have sudden fits of rage. Homeless dudes might issue public apologies and ask God to bless the travelers. Free Wifi might result in abrupt farewells. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

3. Flat shoes are A+.
You can’t run in high heels. This is especially important to remember when you’re in a locale that giant sea hybrid monsters have been known to attack. You never know what’s going to happen. Basically, CLOVERFIELD.

4. There is such a thing as “too many chicken fingers.”
It’s not like there wasn’t anything else to eat in that prison basement cafeteria, but somehow we always went for that meal. I DON’T EVEN REALLY LIKE FRIES, geez. I blame the sauce.

nyc13-105. There is no such thing as “too much Taylor Swift.”
Why, you ask? That’s because Taylor Swift’s lyrics have the capacity to rip your heart out, as well as narrate every facet of your life. There is a Taylor song that is appropriate for EVERY situation. Even iPhone autocorrect mishaps.

5.5. Taylor Swift lyrics will never not remind me of the bevy. Some examples:
The Last Time – the last day, the last meal, the last bus ride, etc.
Hey Stephen – Hi, Stephanie. Also, “Stephen of Hey Stephen is getting married.”
White Horse – T_T
Back to December – I’m not sure why, but Steph kept ~Unwritten-style~ reciting these lyrics at one point. Like dramatically reciting them.
All Too Well/Last Kiss – EVERYTHING.
I Knew You Were Trouble – how many times did we lie on the cold hard ground?

nyc13-7

“Is that a spirit?”

6. Squirrels are freaking insane.
ESPECIALLY SPIRIT SQUIRRELS. They will clutch onto your bag without reservation. They will scour through the brown paper bag that still contains edible food. They are relentless. They know no fear.

7. You don’t need to exit your living quarters to have a classy night.
All you need is a bag of Cheetos, candy, cheesecake-flavoured drinks, and dresses. And Snoopy.

8. DOPPELGANGERS EXIST AND THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.
They’re in your CW shows and they’re possibly in your YA novels.

9. VOODOO IS REAL.
What other explanation is there for random bouts of illness/muteness/PREGNANCY?

nyc13-6

Shailene look-a-like is totally lurking in the background.

10. The rest is still unwritten… but it shouldn’t be recited in verse format.

11. “RUSSIA RULES!”
Seriously, that was the most awkward moment of the trip and I still don’t understand where that girl came from (Russia, I guess) and what compelled her to scream that. And more importantly, where did she go after that happened? Like, she was a phantom of awkwardness who appeared out of nowhere, then disappeared into a cloud of weird.

12. KT has Disney princess hair.
But we already knew this. And now a bunch (more) authors do, too.

Even when she's not actually in the picture, she's still posing for the picture.

Even when she’s not actually in the picture, she’s still posing for the picture.

13. JENNIFER IS THE REAL ROBOT.
Or she’s a super solider trained to automatically lock on to any camera lens within a meter and SMILE.

14. Just because you’re a tree doesn’t mean you can’t walk.
It’s just like Cinderella’s fairy godmother sings: “It’s possible!”

15. Laguna Beach isn’t the only town that harbours drama.
Drama can also happen in a library. KEEP DANCING~ (hey, stephen!)

16. The Hunger Games are real/Power Readers aren’t as cool as Power Rangers.
…but at least we had an awesome strategy plan and studied the map beforehand. Thank you, CAPTAIN BAGGIERO.

17. iPhone batteries will fail you.
Sure, you can turn it into a fun competition of who’s battery will run out first, but in the end… who will be left to tweet about it?

18. You should forgive your past, accept the present, and release your future.
This might be the new “YOLO” because Shailene Woodley knows what she’s talking about, yo. #SPIRITJUNKIE

deep words, tris.

deep words, tris.

19. It’s should be pronounced like “gift” because when someone sends you one, it’s like an actual gift.
Here, have one right now~
bestdayeverrr

nyc13-1

okay? OKAY?!

20. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in Caleb Prior.
The tension will never be unread. Trips to the grocery store between siblings will never be the same.

21. You might think you’re leaving, but you’re not.
Like I said, the dauntless deities were just not having it on Sunday afternoon. Flight cancellations galore. ACTUAL sleeping on the cold hard ground.

22. Canadians stick together. And so do the Starks.
KT and I attended a wedding on Sunday night and it was miserable and magical, except not really that magical at all. More like miserable and depressing. WHYYYY 😦

23. Wolfpacks!!!
This isn’t really a lesson. I just wanted to exclaim about wolfpacks. Or bevys. Bevi?

nyc13-4

bevy + wolfpack = …forest?

nyc13-8

oh my gosh I’m in such awe so I’m just going to stand here and stare.

24. Unicorns!
Again, not a lesson. I just wanted to exclaim about unicorns. They were running rampant in NYC this year. On a personal note, I’m sooooo so glad I got to meet Richelle Mead and have some books signed by her. And as much as I joke and kid about Divergent and the series/film-in-progress, I really really appreciated Veronica Roth’s speech. It hit home so hard. I really wonder how/if next year’s trip can top this year’s in the unicorn department…

25. We will be back next year.
We still need to find out what happened to Cesar. And we still need to go to Harlem. Maybe these two goals will become one and the same. Only time (and drugs) will tell.

The Prior FAMILY, freaking out and apologizing on the subway, macarons, sending almost every poor delivery guy back because we’re bold like that, comparing college guys to agents, trying to figure out who is “Evil Harry,” analyzing what Theo James is trying to do, interrupting Jar of Hearts for bacon pancakes in New York, actual bacon and pancakes in New York, best friends going off to talk about awful people, brainstorming distractions to allow us to ditch conferences, Starbucks drink confusion, Adrian Ivashkov being employed at B&N, Warner, Dimka, ANSEL… There is too much. So instead to conclude this post, I end with this…

nyc13-9

“It’s nothing.”
“It’s something.”
“It’s everything.”