Dear Summer

Dear Summer,

It’s almost fall and I still haven’t had the chance to see you. I waited back home through June to late August, hoping you’d stop by for a while, but if you came I missed you and I never heard anything about your arrival.

I promise I waited diligently. I looked outside every day in hopes I’d catch a glimpse of you; I even wandered to the beach twice because there were rumours you would show up, but I only encountered rain and wind and they were unwelcome visitors when I was looking for you. Most of the time I stayed home, looking for any sign or whisper that you’d arrived.

I found heat a couple times and they said they’d seen you just a little while before. I found sunlight and they said the same, but the two must have had another fight because they were never willing to hang out at the same time. I figured that, whatever happened, that’s why I haven’t seen you yet, either.

For a while I was away from home, visiting Whitehorse up in the Yukon for the first time. I thought maybe I’d catch you while I was there, but it seemed like I just missed you. My plan was to round up heat and sunlight and force them to make up in hopes of drawing you out, but you showed yourself back home the second I left town.

To say the least, I’m frustrated.

I know it’s not entirely your fault… sun and heat were part of the problem too, and all the fires and smokey skies definitely didn’t help. All that made me pretty hesitant to be outside, too. But all I wanted this summer was to hang out at the beach and swim and for once, get out of the house. I just couldn’t make that happen without you.

I hope you change your mind before it’s too late, and at least give me a chance to spend some time outside with you.

~Erynn

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I’m An Idiot

So I’ve meant to write posts– it just hasn’t been happening. It’s a mixture of laziness, summer classes being a little more work than I expected, and I’ve been spending a lot of time doing stuff for myself. I’ve decided that I’m going to write a post every other day or so, but nothing too long, kinda just to keep up the momentum, kind of deal. I kind of need to get into a routine anyway, and I’d like blog posts to be a part of that again.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to write about today. A little while ago I posted a Desolace update. I was pretty happy with my progress up until that point, even though after I finished the chapter I was working on, I knew I needed to go back and change the ending and have something else happen first.

Except that I put it off for so long that now I’ve forgotten exactly what I was I wanted to do instead…

Usually I write it down in the instance that I know I can’t get to it right away, but this time I didn’t. So I’m an idiot, and will probably be spending the next couple days, or maybe even weeks, trying to remember what it was…

Ugh. My own damn fault.

~Erynn

Desolace Update #1

So this is my first “official” Desolace update post. I don’t expect this to be a regular thing because Desolace is going very slowly, but I figured since I’m happy with where I’m at, I may as well talk a bit about what I’ve done with it, talk about it, stuff like that.

I mentioned a couple times in previous posts that I worked on Desolace as one of my projects for one of my creative writing classes last semester. By “worked on” I mean I wrote an analysis on some of my plans for the novel in the future, and wrote, re-wrote and extensively edited the first two chapters. I also wrote (not fully edited yet) the third chapter after classes ended and I plan on writing another two of three over the summer in preparation for my next intermediate creative writing class.

My final grade on my writing submission (the two full chapters) was a solid A, which was my goal, so I’m pretty happy with that and hope I can keep it up.

Desolace has always been in a weird spot in the grand scheme of things. Sure I’ve had a good idea of where I wanted to go with it since the beginning, but writing a book is so much more complicated than knowing your characters and plot. Things tend to happen without your consent because your characters do as they damn will please and your world evolves behind the scenes. It gets frustrating, but part of all that is learning how to control the reins and keep things from diverting too far from your original purpose (or knowing when it is appropriate to let it continue).

A couple things I’ve determined from writing these first few chapters is that without an outline (as I prefer) I’m being really particular about the details I add in, and how scenes transition from one to another. Usually, I leave it choppy or whatever and go back and fix it later, but for some reason, with this project, it’s been really hard to move on to the next part if the previous scenes don’t set up everything right. The result has been three good chapters that transition really well from one to the next, but that also makes it slow as hell.

Even without an outline, though, I’ve got the help of the novel analysis that I wrote on Desolace. It helped me solidify some plot points that I’d been thinking about, fleshed out some traits for my main characters and helped me figure out a lot of the why for the novel. So I think the difficulties of writing the chapters so they transition well aside, I’m in a pretty good place to continue writing a good chunk of the story.

I’m considering writing a brief outline just to organize some of the events I’ve got in my head. I’ve had a couple instances already (I’ve got to go change the ending to the third chapter so it leads into something else first) where I’ve rearranged the order of plot points because it made more sense to do it in a certain order. But it’s a pain in the ass to write it out and then realize it’s too early for that, so I figure it would be worth it to write out all the events I have planned and properly organize them in correlation to each other. I don’t want to do anything too fancy, just some bullet points that I can rearrange things visually rather than in my head.

Anyway, I think that’s it for now. Next time I might go into more detail on the characters and what the story is about, but I need to work on accurately summing it all up before I can write anything about that.

~Erynn

 

 

About: My Poem “Purity”

I decided that whenever I post a poem here on my blog that I’ll write a follow-up post the next day. This’ll be so I can talk a bit about the poem itself, why I wrote it, inspiration, and all that. I don’t think I’ll post poems all that often (most of the stuff I’ve been writing is garbage, or I’m not really comfortable sharing it), maybe once or twice a month depending on how well writing has been going.

So, this is about Purity.

Purity is one of the first poems I wrote this year. It came to me after my second Poetry writing class, sometime in the first couple days I started practising poetry for the upcoming assignment, as I had no idea what I was doing. Poetry was never really my thing, see. Usually, poems take me multiple sittings to sort out– I write a bunch of lines, I think it’s garbage, then I come back and sort through it to find the relevant stuff, putting the rest aside for later.However, Purity was an exception to that ritual. The poem came to me in one sitting, almost perfect.

However, Purity was an exception to that ritual. The poem came to me in one sitting, almost perfect. Well, I mean, the poem is far from perfect, but it’s served its purpose, and I don’t desire to edit it further or alter it in any way. It captures exactly what I want it to, as I needed it when I wrote it, and as I need it now. When I wrote it, of course, I made a couple alterations, but that was just switching a couple words around here and there to make it sound better or to get the meaning right.

Overall, the writing process for this one was simple because of all that. So maybe if I ever post one of the harder poems I write some day here on my blog, I’ll talk a bit more about the detailed process of how I write them.

The meaning behind this poem and the inspiration for it go hand in hand. While I had no visual inspiration (such as a picture or what-have-you), I used a couple events that occurred around that time to build the story behind it. Actually, you could say that I wrote the poem to help cope with and better understand what was going on.Essentially, the poem is

Essentially, the poem is about a dear friend of mine, someone who has gone through a lot of shit and has a lot of shit in their future just because of how their life is set up. It’s an unfortunate situation overall. But because of how much I care about this person, I wanted to be there to help them through it all, to steer them away from the path of destruction they’d set themselves on, and in general just protect them from the demons of the world. Unfortunately, people usually only accept help when they’re ready, and my friend wasn’t ready, so they felt like I was imposing on them. I was devastated when our friendship fell apart. In the end, I think it was mostly my fault, but I’ve accepted that, and have a better idea of what to do to prevent this from happening again in the future.

I struggled a lot with whether or not I should give up on this friend, or stick around and be supportive in the background so I could be there if they ever needed me, even if it proved to be an emotional burden. It came down to whether or not I was able to stop caring, which I so far haven’t been able or even wanted to. I’m also too afraid that if I step away completely, I won’t be there if something bad happens. And even if it’s paranoid to think like that, nothing so devastatingly wrong has happened that this friendship can’t be repaired somehow if I just stick around.

So Purity ended up being my acceptance of the situation. The first half is my acknowledgement of the good, and the bad in my friend (lines 1-4), while the last half of the poem (lines 5-8) is about my decision to be there for them, even if it ultimately means that we can’t be friends anymore. There’s obviously more to it than that, but this is the simplest explanation of how the poem came to be and my interpretation of it. Everyone, of course, is welcome to interpret it as they like. In fact, if anyone has a different interpretation, I’d love to hear it!

Here’s the poem again, for reference:

Purity

Within you rests a sanctuary,

not for the broken or the free

but for the demons you harbour

in your heart.

Silence would kill most

and when I want to think

I’m one of them

I decide to ride it out together

even if our ends are far apart.

~Erynn

 

 

Writing Non-Heterosexual Characters

I’ve never really set out to write a character specifically to be diverse or to fill a certain status quo or whatever. I exclusively write characters who “come” to me in one way or another, I really hate forcing characters who I can’t picture clearly in my head onto paper. They never come off as real that way.

Anyway, 99% of my characters end up being heterosexual. Not for any specific reason, because I definitely don’t consciously choose their preference, that’s just who the characters are. I might be the writer, but anyone who writes knows that characters tend to have minds of their own. They choose for themselves. But, every so often, I think about characters who aren’t heterosexual, and writing them always ends up being a curious process. 

Let me back up a bit.

In high school sexuality didn’t matter to me. It still doesn’t, but back then I had the habit of seeing things as male or female because that’s just how things are divided. It’s like that in most cases. Hence, when I started writing back then, I tended to write my characters as heterosexual without really realizing it. And in some instances, it ended up being that the reason some of my characters weren’t working the way I wanted was because I was forcing them into an identity that they weren’t. But now I see things differently and am able to let my characters be who they actually are.

An example of this would be Arianne from Desolace. I originally wrote her as a straight female, in a relationship with a male. However, while this worked for some parts of the story, it was not satisfying several plot points that I planned. Of course, I never realized that this was the problem, and me being unable to resolve these plot issues was part of the reason I put the project on hold. 

But now, having looked at it from a different perspective, I’ve realized that the problems in these plot points have arisen because Arianna’s motives weren’t in line with her true character. So once I figured that out, her real character came to light, and since then a lot of these plot points have made so much more sense. 
I don’t think that writing non-heterosexual characters is much different from those who are. The essence of creating a character remains the same across the board, and the desires of characters are almost always different from person to person in the first place. It’s just a different kind of difference. 

~Erynn

My Progress Toward Publishing a Short Story

I’ve got a short story written and I think it’s pretty good– maybe another round or two of tweaking and tightening the prose and it’ll be ready to submit. It’s a darker story, but I guess that’s not really a surprise considering it was me who wrote it. I’ve got a couple places in mind that I want to submit to, I’ve just been dragging my feet on finishing the story and writing up a query letter to go submit.

I’m almost there and I don’t really feel the need to rush and get it done with. It’s not that I’m afraid of rejection or anything like that– I think, unfortunately, that’s just a natural part of writing– and it’s not even that I changed my mind on wanting to get one of my short stories published… It’s just… I don’t know, I guess at the moment, I’m just not willing to force the time I need to finish it into my schedule.

I feel like I’m doing a million things every day. I’m trying to learn a dozen new skills (trying to actually figure out how to draw, Japanese, I’ve been looking at a few other languages, trying to figure out poetry, learning how to actually cook, etc.) on top of all my other daily responsibilities (homework, class, friends, sleeping, boyfriend, work). I mean I COULD make the time to do it if I really wanted to, but I guess right now I just don’t really want to, I’ve got my priorities set up in other places. Hopefully, once I’ve cleared a couple other things off my plate, I’ll have the motivation to put the next step of this adventure to a close…

It feels pretty good to have it about 90% done, though, even if I don’t plan on finishing that last 10% just yet. I’m looking forward to completing it and submitting, I think I’ll just wait until my head is in the right place to do that.

~Erynn

So, Wait, You’re a Writer, Right?

I guess I haven’t really posted anything about my writing in quite a while. I’ve honestly been trying to avoid it because while I’ve been writing regularly over the last couple weeks, I haven’t actually been writing.

I’m in the stage in one project I’m working on where I’ve thrown so many ideas into a story that it’s long past time where I go through everything, take out everything that’s good or that I think I can make work, and then write an outline. I hate writing outlines because I feel like they restrain my creativity, but I do recognize their critical role in organizing and structuring a story. Thus, instead of starting with an outline, I often compromise by doing all the bullshit creative stuff first and then sorting through it.

I may have mentioned it already, I may not have– I don’t feel like going through my posts to find out for sure– but I’m currently preparing the outline for the third draft for one of my three ongoing projects. The outline for v3.0 is about 80% done and I’ll be finishing that up within the next couple of days. I’ve just got to finish reading through the older drafts, write up some more notes, and then edit the outline accordingly.

This outline is for a YA fantasy that I’ve been writing on-and-off for about two years now. I’d honestly like to share more about it as I’m very happy with how the story is shaping out, but I’ve changed so much since I started writing it that I need to work on how to accurately describe the story. I’m thinking that if I can release any details, it’ll probably be in two or three months from now, so if that’s something you’re interested in maybe keep an eye open for that when March comes around.

The other two projects I’m working on are slow. One is going through some brutal rounds of editing (still even on the fourth draft!) and probably needs quite a bit more time before I can consider it polished. My third project, Desolace, which I have mentioned before in the past, has been mostly stagnant but I have come up with a few ideas that I’m itching to write and I’m hoping to get to that by the end of January.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say today. Maybe I’ll write up something longer and more exciting for tomorrow. 🙂

~Erynn

It’s Time to Talk Projects

Some of you might recall that I mentioned some time ago that I’ve put Taichiren’s to the side for now. While putting it aside isn’t a permanent decision, it had to be done in order to make room for some of the other things I’ve been working on. There are only two projects of note, but perhaps they will pique your interest.

The first project is what I refer to as ‘Desolace’, a novel that I wrote in 8th grade or so. Now that I think of it, I’m 100% sure I’ve mentioned it before, but this new version that I’m working on is a much different take on the original story. This is what’s taking Taichiren’s place as my personal project.

Desolace is an adult fantasy/ science fiction novel that is written in the first person point of view, following the character Arianne. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of the first person perspective, but I’ve seen it done well often enough to give it a shot for this story. You see, Arianne isn’t your typical protagonist. She’s the main character, yes, but she isn’t a hero or even an anti-hero. She’s the villain. I think risking the first person POV for this story is well worth the potential that could come out of it.

Talking about Desolace will be my focus over the next couple months, so I’ll leave it at that for now and move onto the second project I’ve been working on. I hinted about this in October last year… it’s a bit of a ‘big reveal’.

Since February last year, I’ve been working on a YA fantasy series with a partner. Isn’t that exciting?! I can’t believe I’ve managed almost a whole year without bringing it up… but, wow, the last year has been incredibly productive. Unfortunately I can’t share any details about the plot or the characters as of yet, but here’s the current status of the writing.

The first draft of the first novel was finished in mid-November, at about 99,000~ words, only around 2,000 more than the original Taichiren’s draft. As of this week, my partner and I are sitting down to sort out the intricacies of the plot, so that I can start on the second draft of the first novel by the end of the month. I’ve done a bit of writing for the second book (about 18,000 words, give or take), but that’s been put on hold because of a variety of major plot changes that have brought on the plan to edit the first book early.

It hasn’t been decided how many books there will be yet– though right now we are thinking between 3 and 5. It will depend on how the new plot changes unfold through the first book and how much of the original book needs to be moved into the second. We also haven’t mapped out anything past where I’ve currently written to (besides several vague thoughts), so the length will depend on what unfolds before the story reaches what we perceive as the ending.

Anyway, that’s all I can share for now. I’ll write an update on the second project, which I simply refer to as ‘Drago’, when the editing for the first book beings. Until then, more posts about books, games, random thoughts, and perhaps a bit of Desolace.

~Erynn

 

Taichiren’s Update #3

Hello everyone!

I’ve been a bit neglectful of my blog again, but for good reason. Unfortunately, I’m not quite in a position to talk about it yet… but the hope is that sometime early 2016 I’ll be able to tell you guys all about it. It’s something I’m SUPER excited about, and though I can’t really talk about it, I wanted to write an update on Taichiren’s Heart, as it is somewhat related.

So, as you may have guessed by my lack of updates on the book, I’ve finally made the decision to put it aside for now. It’s not because I don’t want to write it and more because it needs so much work before it will ever be in a publishable state (if ever), time that I would rather put into more promising projects. Of course, this more ‘promising project’ that I have in mind is what I hope to be revealing early next year!

As for Taichiren’s, I haven’t completely abandoned it over the last few months. The story and the characters drift through my mind every so often, and in August, I believe, I wrote a short story about one of the side characters, Laecsam Batede. The story is him in his years of being a young, rebellious elf who did not agree with the ways of elven society. It follows him after he has decided to go to Myrusi’s Arena, a place no elf has stepped foot in decades. There, he finds out what has kept them all away.

I’ve debated doing a bit more cleaning up on the short and giving it away, but I’ve been hesitant to do so because I’m not sure I want to get anyone’s hopes up on the series being written any time within the next ten years.

What do you guys think? Would you like to read this short story, even if there might not be any follow-up for some time?

~Erynn