NaNoWriMo 2016

I’ve gone off the deep end. I’ve finally lost it.

Why?

I decided the night before November 1st that I was going to attempt Nanowrimo. It’s not like I don’t have a ton of homework, tests, essays, and of course, finals to worry about. Not to mention other general life-things like eating, sleeping, and exercising (just kidding, I wasn’t doing that anyway). But I’ve somehow got it in my head that I have to try.

Coincidentally, I have about 50,000 words left to write for my current book. Which sounds perfect, right? Well, the only issue is that it took me over three months to write the first 45,000 words.

Well, what can go wrong? The Earth will not stop turning if I don’t win, so I might as well try.

As of today (day 3), I’ve gotten 2,493 words down. I’m behind, but optimistic.

I wish you all luck with this year’s NaNo if you’re participating! I’m excited to see how this month turns out.

P.S. If you want to follow along or be writing buddies, here’s the link to my NaNo account 🙂

 

Writing Update #3

Word count: 37,689

Wow. It has been a long time since my last update. I’ve just entered my sophomore year of college, and I’ve been inundated with schoolwork and an endless to-do list. But I’m still writing! Albeit very slowly, but as long as I’m making any progress I’m happy. 🙂

Balancing schoolwork (and life in general) with writing is definitely a challenge. My goal so far is to write five days out of seven. I tried to get myself to write every day, but some days it’s just impossible, so now I’m trying to be more flexible.

I’m really excited about this book and looking forward to finishing the first draft and getting to edit, which is my favorite part of the writing process. At least, line-editing is. I’ve never actually done a full rewrite/edit of a manuscript before, so that will be a whole learning process in itself. I can already point out a lot of problems that will need revising. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to it.

I’m still far away from the finish line, but it’s nice to have a goal to shoot for. It keeps me motivated. That, and coffee.

Writing Update #2: Motivation

Word count: 20,721

I’ve been making slow but steady progress in writing my novel lately. I’m happy to have made it this far in a short period of time, but every day has been a mini-struggle to find the motivation to keep going strong. (Especially when it’s so nice out!) So I’ve been trying out various methods of motivating myself to write.

One thing that has kept me moving so far is having a set deadline. My goal is to reach 90,000 words by the end of August. Although it’s becoming clearer to me that I’m not going to be able to finish the first draft by then, it’s still helpful for me to have a clear goal in mind.

I’ve found that the websites Pacemaker and Final Deadline are very helpful in keeping me on track and organized. You can set deadlines for projects and measure your daily writing progress. They have fun graphs and things to look at if you’re like me and get a little obsessed with statistics and word count goals. Best of all, they’re completely free.

I’ve also tried writing on a word sprint website called myWriteClub that hosts global word sprints. It’s kind of fun seeing how much you can get done in a short period of time. You can also see other people’s writing progress while you write for a bit of inspiration and competition.

The last thing I use to find motivation is other people. I love reading blog posts and watching vlogs about other writers working on their own projects. I’ve always found it interesting and inspiring to see other people working towards their own big goals and dreams.

What do you use to motivate yourself to keep writing? Have any tips?

Have a great weekend!

 

My Creative Summer Bucket List- 2015

Hey everyone! In order to motivate myself to experiment and do creative things this summer, I’ve created a bucket list of random activities and goals that I hope to accomplish come September.

1. Start Writing a Novel

This is definitely the biggest goal on my list. I really want to improve my writing, and the only way I know how is by practicing. Plus, I already have a rough idea for a story that is begging to be told!

This goal ties in with one of my biggest life-goals: to be published. I decided to abandon my first novel because I consider it more of a learning experience than a project I want to pursue in the long-term. So I’m going to work on a new project that I can really put my all into for the coming months and- who knows?- years.

2. Paint en Plein Air

Painting “en plein air” basically means painting outside. It’s done in the light of day, with the subject actually in front of you.

This is something that has interested me for a really long time. I haven’t gotten around to trying it, though. This summer I want to learn how to paint outside with oils and hopefully improve my painting skill in general.

3. Read Books

I love reading, but it always seems to be on the bottom of my list of things to-do even when I have free time. I think reading will help me be a better writer as well, so I am making it a top-priority.

4. Practice Watercoloring

I really love the way watercolor paintings look, with their subdued colors and softness. I admire the way some artists can use layers of watercolor to create atmosphere and depth. I’m going to practice watercoloring in order to hopefully learn some of these techniques and improve in general.

5. Develop my Illustration Style

This goal has popped up pretty recently for me. I’ve been drawing for a long, long time, but in the past few years my artistic aims have shifted immeasurably. I started drawing characters and illustrating a few years ago, and now I’d like to begin developing a unique illustration style.

6. Make Zines and Mini-Comics

Zines are something I’ve discovered pretty recently and have fallen in love with. I still don’t quite understand them, but I think they usually feature art, writing, or both in a booklet made of printer paper or any other type of material you can think of. The endless amount of possibilities that come with zines really excite me!

7. Document my Norway Trip

On July 18, I will be heading to Norway for a two-and-a-half week trip! I’ll attempt to document it through art-journaling, painting, drawing, and photography.

Well, this is definitely going to be a busy summer! I can’t wait. 😀

A River Knows Not

a river knows not its destination, it knows only the grassy banks and rocky shores that pass by, and the feeling of running over falls

a river knows not what time is, it knows only the water’s endless flow through the bright, hot sun or under a cover of ice and stars

a river knows not the meaning of distance, it knows only that a part of itself exists in the melting, dripping icebergs in the north and at the sandy banks where it meets the ocean and becomes the ocean

a river knows not what death is, it knows only that when the air is dry it becomes vapor in the skies, forms droplets, falls, collects, becomes a river again


We can learn a lot from rivers, I think.

© 2014

Experimenting

So I’ve done some more work on Solstice and even started thumbnail sketches within the deadline I set. I didn’t finish the written script, though. I couldn’t keep going without some idea of what the story was going to look like on the paper. It was getting really hard for me to visualize everything while writing.

Here are some pictures of the pages that are pretty legible:

They don’t really count as thumbnail sketches because they’re so detailed, but I figured you’d rather see them than badly drawn boxes and stick-figures. I don’t know what size the book will be yet but I figured that a piece of copy paper folded in half was a good enough measurement to start with.

Turns out starting thumbnail sketches without finishing the script was a good idea. The story has changed. Again. It feels like it’s been through at least fifty different changes, but I found a storyline that I like a bit better than the previous one so I have to rewrite part of the script. That’s okay, because I know the end product will be better now! It’s good the changes are coming out before I do anything drastic.

As I was sketching thumbnails, it occurred to me how important they were to the creation of a graphic novel/comic. They help lay important groundwork that’s otherwise just swimming around in my head. They also get the major issues out of the story before I work on the minor ones, making it easier in the long run.

With that, I’ll present a random front-page/cover idea that I couldn’t resist developing:

solstice cover idea

Like I said- just an idea. (It’s supposed to be an animal made out of little trees and stuff, by the way). It looks a little too scary and demon-ish to me right now, but who knows? Maybe after I get the story done It’ll be fitting. The book is going to play with the idea of nature’s dark side.

My plan for now is to keep developing the story while working on the script and sketching thumbnails and character reference sheets. So basically doing everything at once. Yeah, this plan isn’t going to end horribly or anything.

Weeds and Wildflowers

swing around the fire
whisper words beneath the lies
weave the nature through your hair
weeds and wildflowers

fingertips entwine
soft as wind and sweet as wine
feel the earth beneath bare feet
weeds and wildflowers

cries steal down your neck
in your eyes the world reflects
let the spirit through the door
weeds and wildflowers

locust wings and honey
mix and burn greens so lovely
spilling in your violet eyes
weeds and wildflowers

white hair forms a nest
beneath trees you lay to rest
from slackened fingers’ grasp, falls
weeds and wildflowers

 

I wrote this poem last year when I was inspired by nature 🙂

© 2014

Skull-Man

Story time! I wrote this a year ago for a project I made called Forest of the Mind.

The Skull

At dawn Skull-Man rises, shaking off sleep as the sky does the stars until a deep reddish purple fills the spaces in between treetops. He brushes the leaves and grass from his dark, hollow eyes and antlers, standing up to full height to see his distorted shadow stretch across the ground. He sees a long figure with tendrils extending from its head, like a tree’s silhouette.

Skull-Man walks, one foot silently moving in front of the other, shaded skin blending with the crumpled, decaying leaves and the gray bark of the forest. He listens as he travels, to the birds whispering sweetly to one another and the shush of trees moving in the breeze. The morning is peaceful. Skull-Man keeps walking.

He rests on a rock, fingertips brushing the smooth, hard sides of his face where flesh has fled like water in a dry riverbed. He tries not to think about why he exists like this, but perhaps it is the possibility, the unknown that keeps him going. He fingers the ridges along the sides of his skull, deep, like scars.

Skull-Man walks on. He sees wide rivers, some swift, others barely trickling, canyons, where he finds more skulls, skulls that almost match his own, mountains, pine forests, cliffs, lakes. He sees everything without knowing exactly what he is looking for yet. All he knows is that he has lost part of himself, and he must find it.

In autumn he is amazed and frightened to see his left foot turn into a bony hoof. Skull-Man keeps walking, through the trees that are changing as he is. He still cannot find what he is looking for, and the dawn of every new day looks like the sunset of his last. Spiny vertebrae appear on his back, going all the way up and down, hard like bark. He cannot do anything but keep traveling, every day, as soon as a sliver of sun shows on the horizon and as late as the silver moon allows.

The days grow longer and then shorter once again. Leaves fall and grow after the snow. Then the rain comes, as it always does, leaving Skull-Man huddled beneath a mossy overhang in the mist, thinking about when it will all end, arms wrapped around his knees.

Yet Skull-Man keeps walking. He grows fur, starting to cover the white bone, his hands become hooves, he walks on four legs, and yet he never stops traveling, looking for remnants of his past self- memories maybe.

One summer night it finally happens. The air buzzes with electricity in the coming of a storm. Warm air blows the trees and the field of grass around Skull-Man, circling him. He lifts his head one last time as a man, searching the horizon for the intangible. Something flashes across his eyes as he smells the storm in his muzzle, something like the flight of a blackbird and a hundred more behind it. Skull-Man searches no more, for he knows who he is, for he takes the earth inside of him and turns every branch, every leaf, every drop of water into a memory.

© 2014 by me