Tuesday, January 31, 2017

~ January Wrap-up ~

Boom, January, gone. 

So this month was actually quite interesting, I got a lot of stuff done and worked on figuring out my life a bit, I didn't do a wrap-up post last month cause it was December and everything and I was kind of confused and at a loss as to what to post about, I'm going to try to stick to doing these kind of posts every month from now on though.

Anyway, onto some of the awesome/random/interesting/important things that happened this month. 

~ Real life ~

- Hung out at Biggby with Sare, she helped me with some plot stuff and also I GOT TO SEE HER BOOK. The actual physical thing and it is gorgeous. 

- Tried out DIY bath bombs with my younger sister, not because we actually planned on using them as bath bombs but we wanted to see if they worked and would turn out looking cool, all they really did was fizz up and turn the water a different color though, nothing super interesting, they were fun to make though.

- Stayed up till 3:00 am working on a bracelet for my sister's birthday

- Went to a Building 429 concert with my older brother and sister. (it was awesome) 

- Learned how to make lattes. (I'm still not nearly as good at it as my sister, who is, after all, a professional barista, I still need a lot more practice) 

- Having an actual nightmare about my siblings finding and destroying my editing notes cause I remembered that I left my notebook upstairs just as I was falling asleep, (In case you ever wondered what kind of nightmares writers have) 

- Brushed my bunny a ton because she suddenly started shedding a ton, which resulted in me covered in bunny hair at midnight and having to use a lint roller to get it all off. 

- I learned that if you speak nicely to chickens they will approach you in a very non-threatening manner. 

True story 

- It didn't snow for like weeks straight but NOW IT'S SNOWING AGAIN AS YOU CAN SEE IN  THE PIC ABOVE, which of course makes me happy.

- Made peanut butter pop-tarts on National Pie Day because...it sort of counts? And I'm not really into pie.

- Made another felted bird. (As soon on my Instagram)

- Listened to a ton of music and took a ton of photos. (Let's be honest though that happens every month, it happens all the time, it's my life)

- Got sick for like one day, bleck, being sick is gross.

Annnd that's all I can think of for now although a lot more things happened, 


~ Blogging life ~

-  Overcame enough anxiety to actual film and upload my first ever vlog! and surprisingly I'm not pained with embarrassment whenever I think about it, like, I feel like I could do another vlog in the future, a better one, but we'll see. ;)

- Also, FINALLY SHARED SOME OF MY WRITING ON HERE. which, also surprisingly, I wasn't really freaked out at all by it, you guys left so many lovely comments on both my snippets and vlog, you all are the best. <33

- Did a post on hiding from editing and many of you agreed that when it comes to avoiding your responsibilites, becoming a dragon is the best way to go. XP

- Posted a poem that was literally just a semi-understandable form of rambling to make sense of my thoughts.

- My blog reached 40 followers THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU AWESOME HUMAN BEINGS, <33

- Did another post about editing to prove I didn't actually become a dragon in order to avoid my responsibilities, although I wouldn't put it past myself.


~ Writing life ~

- I began plotting two new novels, I didn't intend for it to happen, THE PLOT BUNNIES they just, happened. anyway, I'm super excited about them both and I can't wait for April Camp Nano because that's when I'll for sure be writing one of them. 

- I was carelessly thrust into the world of editing, after much protesting and  procrastination,and it's been pretty interesting so far, although I'm trying to figure out just how long it will take to rewrite a novel. :P

- I started reading Sare's first draft of her novel Oblivion.

- Also, it's been really motivating seeing how much my writing has improved since writing the beginning of Contempt, like, there's a very significant improvement and that makes me happy.


~ February Goals ~ 

- Make more progress in editing than I did this month. 

- Read at least 6 books. 

- Finish alpha-reading for Sare. 

- Catch up on math. (Did I ever tell you that I utterly despise math?) 

Again, I'm sure there are are more, but those are all I could think of off the top of my head. 


Are you excited for February? 


~HANNAH~

Friday, January 27, 2017

~ Editing update ~ How this novel has shaped me as a writer ~ {Much rambling}

Okay so I had a really hard time finding pics for this post cause I wasn't able to get any writing-related photos, so alas, here are some snowflakes on ice, onto the post now. XD 

Alright, so, you may have noticed that a couple posts back I subtly mentioned I had finally started editing, right? And so obviously even though I didn't get nearly as far into it as I would've liked, I decided to talk you guys about what's up before you accuse me of ignoring my responsibilities entirely. 

So, basically right now I'm just reading through the first draft and making excessive notes as I go along, (Because before I tried just jumping into it and fearlessly, recklessly revising everything in sight until I got stuck because I realized just how messed up my actual plot is and was left sad and confused and intimidated, true story) 

I'm almost halfway through, and now that I'm nearing the middle I'm starting to realize that the whole thing really isn't all that bad, I mean, the beginning is next to unbearable, but it gets better, the plot is just very very flawed and I'm noticing how I don't really have enough 'in-between' stuff, like filler scenes between significant events that  flesh out the plot and make the whole thing seem less choppy and jagged as you're reading it. Anyone else ever have this?

Also I have come to one very important conclusion, there is going to be a lot more re-writing involved than I previously anticipated, like, I might have to tear most of the basic plot apart and then piece it back together in an entirely different manner, make sense? No? Yeah, it doesn't make much sense to me either. XD

I realized something this week, guys, as I was going through my first draft, some of the most embarrassing and cringe-worthy scenes, wondering if this story even could be salvaged, (mind you this was when I was going through some of the early chapters *winces* those were some dark times)
Basically wondering if, when it all comes down to, well, everything, is this novel worth it? Now, this isn't something that I have really taken the time to fully dwell on, but it has crossed my mind many a time, usually when I'm forced to face the fact that, in reality, my novel isn't a literary masterpiece, and it probably never will be.

But you know what? I'm okay with that.

Because writing this book taught me thing, it taught me a lot of things actually, it literally made me the writer I am today.

I learned to set goals and stick to them
I learned that the first step to getting a first draft written is throwing the idea of perfection out the window and just w r i t i n g 
I learned that writing has become a part of my life and something that I'm really truly serious about.

Also learning that my characters tend to have minds of their own and oftentimes I'm forced to just go with it, I love this cast though, despite their craziness, and I've realized just how attached I've become to them as well.


And that's why I haven't given up on this story, why I didn't while I was writing and I'm totally not going to now.

Any editing tips? 
Stuff you learned from your first novel? 
~HANNAH~

Friday, January 20, 2017

~ A spontaneously-written-poem without a title ~

It's the song stuck in your head
The same verse echoing endlessly
It's the things that aggravate
And enchant
The calm
And chaotic
Parts of your mind
It's the screen light shining in your eyes at night
It's 2:00 am
Why are you still awake?
It's whatever though runs through your mind
When you catch a glimpse of your reflection
Do you smile, because you know the person staring back at you?
Or do you frown, because you don't smile at strangers?
Take a deep breath
Count backwards from 5
Open your eyes
What torments your mind?
What nightmares and dreams keep your eyes open at night?
Tossing and turning and trying to make sense of the world?
It's something that comforts you
What makes you feel alive inside
What brings you to life with a fire
That will give you the strength to fight
It's how your voice shakes
When you talk about what's making your soul tremble inside
It's when you're laughing so hard
And you think you look ridiculous but you don't care
And you wish you didn't care so much all the time
Sometimes
Because sometimes it's just a little too much
Too much to take
But you can do it
I know you can
Because if you don't find the courage to care
Then who will?
Listen.
Don't talk
Just listen.
What do you hear?
Where are you now?
What are you feeling?
Do you hear the shouts
The voices in your head you've drowned out
The background sounds
That make the silence complete
Listen
Do you hear nothing at all?
The leaves are slippery beneath your boots
The wood is cold and damp beneath your touch
And you freeze for a moment
Because for just a moment you wondered if you weren't alone
Freezing cold and all alone
The air smells faintly like woodsmoke
It's peaceful somehow
When it's just you
And the silence
And the trees
They never speak a word
Black skeletons against the barren sky
Listen
You know you're not alone
You know there's something out there
There's so much more out there
And listen
You know
The silence sometimes feels like home.
Cause it doesn't feel so lonely right now.

Something I quite randomly typed up Friday night...er...Saturday morning technically since it was around 1:00 am by the time I finished. Basically trying to articulate my messy mundane thoughts into something eloquent and readable, though not something that I entirely relate to but that doesn't really matter, and I kind of had no idea where I was going with it but I ended up really liking it, and poetry just makes me feel better sometimes, you know? It's soothing, even if what I wrote might not make perfect sense, it doesn't matter really, it is poetry after all. 

Anyway, hope you guys liked this. <3

How do you sort out your thoughts? (I've found lists and poems and ranting helps, more often than not the first two because trying to talk about things to someone else just sometimes ends up being even more confusing) 

How's your weekend going so far? 

~HANNAH~

Monday, January 16, 2017

~ The Snippets Tag ~


So today, on this terribly dark and dreary day, I'm finally doing the snippet's tag which I've been tagged twice for (thanks Sare and Chloe!) And have been putting off for a while, but today I've finally worked up enough courage to actually share a bit of my writing with you! XD

So these are all snippets from my novel Dragon's Blood, not the one that's currently being edited, goodness knows when anyone's going to read any of that.

So anyway, ONTO THE SNIPPETS.

1. Share your most gripping, fascinating, hooking first line of your story. 

"This girl is not like us, she is not human" 

*cringes because of the cliche-ness* not really gripping or fascinating but it is my first line.

2. Share a snippet that made you want to shout to the world because you are SO HAPPY. 
Ahem, erm, you see, happiness was not exactly the key emotion that I experienced whilst writing this book, it was more like SOMEBODY SAVE ME FROM THIS MAKE IT END, but I'm sure I could find something that at least pleased me.

Aryn became restless in her wandering, either she wanted to scream and destroy the very walls surrounding her, or she didn't even want to breathe.
"Aryn, you must stop this" Zephrar spoke quietly.
Aryn paced between the east and south walls, as if it mattered which walls they were, as if anything mattered here.
"Stop what" Aryn uttered.
"This"
Aryn blinked,  but didn't look at him.

Well this will have to do even though I'm not really sure it makes me happy. XP 

3. Share a snippet that gives a bit of insight on one of your most favorite characters ever. 

Zeph felt like a fool, a stupid, hopeless  fool, there had been his chance, she had actually opened, even if it had been a mere crack in the coldness she had encased herself in, she had spoken to him, she had wondered about The Keeper, even if she had been obviously skeptical, there had been his chance and he had completely blown it,, and now he despised himself for it.
Empty fantasies.
No.
But as quickly as Aryn had expressed the slightest implication of any emotion, any indication that there was still life inside, it had disappared, she paced the prison, gaze blank, empty, cold.
Burning indignation rose inside him, contempt for the humans, he knew it was wrong, he knew he shouldn't hate the humans, or the dragons. he shouldn’t despise those of his own kind or hers.
But he did.
He very much did.

Alright, to be honest Zeph isn't exactly my favorite character in my novel, but I felt like this described him pretty well and also kinda gave an insight on what Aryn was going through at the moment, to be honest though, my main characters never seem to end up being my favorites, oddly enough, it always seems to be the side-characters that I become more attached to and enjoy writing more, it happened in both my novels, has this happened to anyone else? XP


4. Share a snippet that gets you beaming with pride like, 'Yep, I wrote that beauty' 

“No!”

Aryn gasped as she bolted upright, struggling to draw a full breath, sweat ran down her back as the echoing scream faded, Aryn leaned limply against the cold stone wall, erratic heartbeat slowly steadying.

Why tonight?” The dream occurred often, it was Aryn’s only source of a faint hope that she may have had a family at one point, may have actually mattered to someone.

If the dream was anything other than a fantasy conjured out of sheer desperation, how could such a thing be so vivid? But if it was a memory, real and true, how could it be so alive even then? Why did this dream haunt her?


5. Share a snippet of genius, deliciously witty  dialogue between your characters. 

"We're going to practice actual fighting today"
Aryn groaned. "Is that not what we did yesterday?"
"Yesterday was trying to keep you from killing me"
"And if you make me do anything stupid again, i will kill you"

*groans* these characters, so negative, and the sass is not helping.

“Are lizards at all related to dragons?” Aryn interrupted.
“What? No, that’s ridiculous, pay attention”
“Wait, not at all?” Her brow furrowed as she paused stroking the tiny creature.
“Okay, maybe, distantly, very distantly, but we’re hardly the same things as-” He nodded to the lizard, “That?”
“True” Aryn nodded as she lifted the lizard closer to her face, “He’s a lot more tolerable” Her amber eyes twinkled.
Matteo glared, “Seriously, just put the thing down so we can focus”
Aryn rolled her eyes and let the little reptile free, it quickly retreated into the shade.

That's a little later in the scene, but oh my goodness that was seriously one of the most random and-out-the-blue things in this book, seriously, don't ask. XD

6. Share a snippet that leaves you breathless, in a cold sweat with action-induced intensity. 

Aryn swallowed hard, so many voices, so thirsty for bloodshed, someone was going to die today, all for their entertainment.
Her opponent was advancing slowly. Struggling hard to shut out anything she thought or felt, Aryn forced a few steps forward, even if her confidence was feigned, if she was dying today, she was not going down without a fight.
A fight would only feed their intense desire to see her die, but this was a matter of survival.

7. Share a snippet of a most interesting first meeting between your characters.

 tried to find a snippet for this, guys, BUT ALAS, SUCH A THING DOES NOT EXIST, nothing that I like enough to share anyway. 
Okay, so this is shortly after the two main characters first meet, but not quite when they've been formally introduced.

Everyone in the prison became even more standoffish than before since the fight with the new dragon, he kept to himself, apparently the bruised scales on his face and side had learnt him his lesson.
Still Aryn couldn't deny the fact that she hadn't forgotten his words that had followed the fight, he had spoken of dragons having dignity and respect, a correlation between the two was something that had never once occurred to Aryn, who was this dragon and why did he repel the others so? what was the blasphemy and fantasies that the ancient one in the shadows disregarded with such severity?

I tag...
E v e r y o n e

XD. Such specific-ness.

So, to be truthful, this novel is a horrible mess and I'm not even sure if I really like it, but I decided to suck it up and share these snippets with you anyway so you can maybe kind of get an idea of what my writing style is like, honest critique is appreciated, just remember that I wrote all of this during the craziness of Nanowrimo and it is a thousand miles away from perfection. 

P.S.  I FINALLY STARTED EDITING, but more on that later. ;) 

So, what did you think of this first-ever peek inside one of my stories?
Honest thoughts please?


~HANNAH~

Monday, January 9, 2017

~ How to hide from editing ~ From a writer who knows nothing of such ~

My younger sister can be sooo hard to take pictures of because she hates sitting still, but sometimes pics of her turn out really awesome. 
ft. Photos that are in no way relevant to this post. 

It seems like anyone who did Nanowrimo last year (it still feels so weird to say last year)  is now tackling this daunting task this month, or a least planning on it. It kinda just makes sense y,know? Like you write like crazy for 30 days straight and forsake your sanity entirely then of course December is Christmas so who wants to edit in December? Besides, it's probably best to take a break from your novel anyway before coming back to edit it.

In this case though, I'm not editing my Nano novel, *ignores other unedited first draft sitting in the corner* I finished this novel in November, yes, but I started it back in July 2016 for Camp Nano and finished it near the beginning on Nano.

BUT EDITING THOUGH, having never edited myself, my only knowledge of it is that it's basically the more 'work' part of writing a book, not that writing isn't work because it obviously is, but editing is coming back to clean up this beautiful mess you wrote, it's slowly realizing just all the mistakes you made, all the plot holes and gaps and downright unbearable things you need to fix.

Soooo, today, (courtesy of Sare for providing a dash of inspiration) I'm going to give you guys some tips on how to hide from editing because that's basically what I've been doing for this past week, (So obviously I should be an expert by now, right?) XD

- Actually physically hide yourself from your monstrous mess of a manuscript. 
Wrap yourself in a burrito of blankets, lock yourself in your closet, hide under a table, literally do whatever it takes to keep yourself hidden from the tedious task.

- Write a blog post about editing instead of actually doing it, *ahem* not that I would ever do such a thing...
Like, who does that? Honestly. 

- Say you ran out of coffee  and therefore are rendered incapable of editing or functioning at all.

It's a perfectly legitimate excuse. *nods*

- Become a dragon, because dragons don't have to edit. 
And that is but one of the many good reasons you should consider being a dragon.  

- Stop procrastinating and just edit your novel like a good writer because your book is amazing and people deserve to read it, so go and edit it to perfection, it'll be totally worth it, I'm sure. 
*should probably take own advice*  XD

Okay, so normally I wouldn't condone procrastination, I mainly wrote this post just for fun but if you need help hiding from editing, I've got your back bro. but seriously, though, we got this, we can do this, alright? Okay.

Also, another thing I've noticed is that no one can really tell you exactly how to edit, because, like writing, everyone does it differently,, some people might edit one chapter at a time, whilst others might just tear through the whole thing at once, so I guess I've just gotta figure out how I want to do it then get started on this thing. *nods*

Hope you enjoyed this post. ;)

Do you plan on editing your novel anytime soon? Or perhaps you've already started editing one? 


~HANNAH~ 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

~ The Q&A vid ~ Goals for a new year ~ {embarrassingly late}


Warning: unbearable awkwardness
I actually wrote that before even attempting to film the actual thing.XD
But it's still a pretty accurate description.
I mean, better an awkward and unedited video than no video at all, right? Mind you this was my first time ever talking in front of a camera and it took me a lot of courage to actually just start talking, I'm glad I did this though. (apparently I talk really fast when I'm nervous???)

Also, I filmed this actually thing three days later than I originally planned too because of how busy this past weekend ended up being. but yeah, hope you guys enjoyed. XD


Read more, there was a depressing lack of reading last year due to how busy I got with my writing and my supposed inability to read while I'm writing, *cries* although since I've become more secure in my confidence in my own stories and writing style, I think I could do better with not comparing because it is totally not worth reading less. XP

Edit the beautiful, overly-emotional, unorganized mess of a book that is my dear novel 'Contempt' *is both excited and terrified* 

Comment on more blogs and fight the urges to lock myself in a dark room forever and quit blogging and cut off any connection with the internet world ever;  blogging just stresses me out sometimes, okay? Don't worry though I'm not seriously considering giving up blogging, like I said it just gets hard sometimes, instead, I'm going to focus more on improving my blog as much as I can, and staying caught up on more blogs because so many of you guys have such awesome blogs.

Start a new novel, like I mentioned in the video, I honestly don't really have any idea when this is going to happen, but it is definitely going to, I've got so many ideas brewing in the back of my mind along with Pinterest boards and playlists, I just have to get through editing at least one of my books first because I can't have too many first drafts laying around, (trying to keep it down to a minimum of two)

Well there you go, an embarrassingly late (actually only two or three days late) post, my first ever video and some a few of my goals for this year.

(*Realizes this is my first post of 2017*  EEEP!) 
Honest thoughts you guys, was I really that awkward? XD

~HANNAH~