What I’m Up To

I haven’t been keeping up with my blog very much, and I kinda feel bad about it. I want to get back to writing on a weekly basis if I can – that is, if school doesn’t get in the way during finals. School is mostly what has been keeping me busy for the past month, with essays and studying and film shoots and whatnot, but I’ve also been working on a few other things.

What I’ve Been Working On

Aside from writing essays, studying for mid-terms, and organizing two film shoots for class, I’ve been working on lots of non-school related things. The first, of course, involves my writing. You may remember me mentioning the new series I wanted to get started on several months back, Shark Academy. Well, the first draft of the first book, which will be called “Demons Below Us,” is well on its way to being finished. I’ve now put the book on hold until the end of the semester since I’ll need to be focusing on studying for finals, but since November I have been working on it almost on a daily basis (except Fridays and Saturdays). When the final draft is complete, I will edit it myself and then pass it on to my personal editors to ready it for its final appearance. The book should be out by next fall.

The concept of the book itself changed quite drastically. I had been planning to make one book per character, divided into three parts. It was while working on this first part with the character Elyssa that I discovered this first part was complex enough to be a book by itself. The book is still separated into three parts, but all three books will be surrounding this character. At every book, I will be adding a point of view, but Elyssa will always remain as the main protagonist.

I’m super excited for this trilogy. In fact, I have also been working on concepts for all three cover arts. It is the first time that I manage to plan out a trilogy that could actually work, and I really hope it turns out as good as I am hoping it to be.

Other than writing, I have been following tutorials for computer programming. That subject has intrigued me for the past few years, but I have very limited knowledge of computers and often need an actual person to teach me how to deal with things like this. This is why this self-learning is taking up a lot of my energy. I am advancing very slowly, but I am also spending a lot of my time researching for schooling programs related to video game programming. The reason I am trying to learn programming in the first place is to program video games. There are so many stories that I wish to write; there are others that I wish I could turn into games. However, this is hard work, especially for someone with close to no computer knowledge like me, which is why I am dedicating so much time to this practice.

In the end, I know it is worth it, because I have been dreaming of making video games for a while now. My first dream was to publish a book; once this was accomplished, new dreams came in its place.

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My Resolutions for 2014

Happy New Year!

I only recently started to make New Year’s resolutions for myself. Usually, I write down very specific goals, because being vague will only be a better excuse for me not to perform well for that resolution, whatever it may be. 

I don’t make resolutions to change my life. I make them to remember to do the things I love doing, because sometimes I tend to forget about those things when I’m busy at life. And isn’t life supposed to be all about doing the things you enjoy?

So here are my biggest resolutions for 2014.

Write a Book

That would be the vague version of my resolution. In fact, I want to finish the first book of my Shark Academy Trilogy. Now, several people have told me that I should not rush writing like this, especially since I am also attending University and working full time in the summer. I get that forcing a deadline for a book might not be a good idea for some people. However, it is crucial for me. If I do not give myself a tangible timeline for writing, I will let it slip. I might get bored of the project and decide to move on, because hey, nothing is making me stick to it! But am making myself stick to it.

It worked for 2013 with Abiding Heart. So here goes for another book this year.

Gain strength

I’ve done the ‘losing weight’ resolution before, and that was okay, but this year I want to focus on gaining strength. I now realize that it isn’t all about the number on the scale. I weigh the same number now as I did two years ago, when I told myself I wanted to lose weight. I did lose weight, but strength training made me heavier again. The difference is that I don’t feel flabby anymore.

(Let’s not mention the flabbiness factor that came from too many desserts during the holidays, shhhhh…)

So this year, I want to continue weightlifting and see where I can take my strength. No more cardio or counting calories. I realized that weightlifting is fun, so why not do it?

Keep the blog/Youtube channel going

I have tried several times before to write a blog, and I have always failed. So far so good, however. My resolution is to keep it going, because if I don’t tell myself that, I will give it up in a few months. But not this time, oh, no.

Same goes for my Youtube channel. I realize that I may not have a lot of time to put into making videos, but I want to try to make at least a few.

 

Are you making resolutions this year? If you are, what are they?

Going Home

Not a lot of things beat the satisfaction of finally finishing a semester of university. Well, one thing does top it off for sure – actually going home for the holidays. I’ve always lived in countryside homes before college, and I love being surrounded by trees and nature, although I can’t deny the joys of the city. I like being in the center of a student metropolis, but when I finally go home, I realize how much I missed the quiet landscape of where I live…

The holidays are a great time to be carefree – at least more than usual, in my case. Because I go home for the holidays, I don’t have a job during this period, like I did in high school, so I know that my days are mine to do as I wish.

I’m not religious, although I do celebrate Christmas. It’s more out of habit and family tradition than anything else, and I think that’s the greatest thing about this time of the year. These days, people stress out so much about organizing parties and buying gifts and doing all sorts of things, but some people tend to forget that they are supposed to be having fun and spending quality time with their families.

These are my top things I enjoy doing during the holidays, and why I cherish it so much:

1. Go home – I’ve already written that one, and I say it again. Spending time with my parents and siblings is priceless, and sometimes we forget that when we’re up to our neck in our other life projects.

2. Write, write, write (and read, too) – I have so much time on my hands, so it is the best time to get a lot of writing done. Nothing beats the experience of cuddling up on the living room couch next to the window with my laptop, watching the snow fall softly outside as I brainstorm my next sentence. After I’m done, I’ll probably go play in the snow with my dog, too.

3. Play a lot! – This includes video games and board games, solo and with my family. With a whole month off this year, it’s the perfect time to dive into that Legend of Zelda game I’ve been meaning to start. Might as well kick my sister’s butt at Monopoly, too. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance again! (chances are, she’s the one who’s going to be doing the butt-kicking.)

4. Catch up with the family – aunts, cousins, grandparents, bring them all in! I’ll have a glass of wine with that, too.

5. Bake – There are countless Christmas dessert recipes that we make in my family. Because I’m home alone for the first week or so, I can get a lot of the baking done. I intend to bring a newbie to the bunch this year: http://therecipecritic.com/2013/09/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-bars/

6. Catch up on a skill – this year, I want to learn about video game designing. I know that I won’t have time to learn such a bulky skill when my next semester starts, and I won’t have the heart to spend so much time in front of a computer when the summer comes along (plus, I’ll have work hours!). Some people would rather just stop learning for a month, but if it’s something you are interested in, there is never a wrong time to learn that skill.

7. And finally… just enjoy myself, whatever that means for this year. The holidays are an opportunity to hit the refresh button on your brains before another year starts. Relax, get your ideas clear, and do the things you enjoy doing with those you love.

So these are my thoughts on the holidays. What are you planning this year? How do you see the holidays from your point of view?

The Writer’s High

So there’s this phenomenon I’ve experienced several times while writing- and no, it doesn’t just happen to me when I’m writing fiction. It can happen pretty much anytime, except that it is much more efficient when writing fiction.

I’ve heard of runner’s high. Although I do encourage running, and I know that it is a great sport, I can’t bring myself to do it that much. I’ve tried sticking to it on and off for about three years, and after a while I found other physical activity that is for me (weightlifting and yoga). One reason that might have lead to my quitting running is that I have never felt the glorious runner’s high.

I can’t tell you what it feels like, but google it and I’m pretty sure you’ll find a lot of testimonies about it. In fact, maybe you’ve experienced it yourself. I felt very disappointed that I could never reach that point during physical exercise, but then writer’s high happened.

So I’m sitting/lying on my back with my computer in front of me/on me, and I’m wearing headphones with intense music to block off the outside world. I’m trapped in a bubble of a world that I have created. On my computer screen, the fictional world of my words is blossoming. I’ve been going at it for a while, and then- it happens.

I begin to float. Somehow, I am just above my body, no longer inside of it. Of course, if I were to check for myself and touch my own skin, I would find that yes, I am still inside my body, and no, I am not floating off my couch. It’s only a sensation, but it’s probably the best feeling there is while writing.

During this phase, the world I am creating out of words is swallowing me up. I have left the material world; I am floating above it. My concentration becomes maximized, and I no longer realize that something exists beyond my story. This is the time when I can create the most intense scenes, because I can easily feel what my characters are feeling. No, scratch that- I AM the character.

This is more bound to happen late in the evening because of fatigue, but it can actually happen anytime if I make a thick enough bubble for myself. The writer’s high is what I enjoy the most about writing. It is relaxing yet intense, and it is a moment of positive solitude where anything is possible.

Have you ever experience something similar? Was it during writing, or while doing something else?

Share your experiences!