I Forgot To Mention… I’m Getting a Poem Published

Hey guys,

So I guess I forgot to mention that I’m getting a poem published, sort of. In December, I submitted a poem to my university’s anthology and got accepted.

It didn’t come as much of a surprise, I suppose, when I got the congratulatory email from my student editor saying that I’d been accepted; the poem in question was originally written for a class I was taking during that term, where it was very well received by the students and my professor. So, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to submit it.

Obviously, this wasn’t the first publication that I wanted, but I’m still happy to have been accepted, regardless. It’s been pretty motivational and has helped nudge me out of the writing slump I’ve been in– that is, just lacking the motivation to do much of anything, including writing. But, I’m back on track, now, and I do attribute some of that to this poem’s success.

The poem is to be published in UBCO’s Papershell anthology, filled with other student writers, in April 2018. I’ll be receiving a contributors copy at the launch event, but beyond that, I don’t know anything about purchasing physical copies of the book, or if there will be a version available online. So for those of you who may be interested in getting your hands on a copy, I’ll post more information about buying one when I learn more.

If there are enough people interested in getting one, I could contact the editor before the event and figure that out for you guys– just leave a comment here to let me know.

Well, I’m excited. I’ll post an update about this after the launch party, at the very least.



Already Thinking About Next Year

Hey guys,

It’s kind of strange how my mind finds new ways to create additional stress for me without any effort. As soon as one issue is resolved, I move onto the next, kind of like a machine.

That thought really sucks, but I’m not going to go into more detail.

The most recent way I’ve found to add more stress to my ball of already overwhelming stress is to worry about the classes I need to take over the next couple of years, getting my master’s and PhD, and the logistics of all of that. But most pressing, of course, are my classes for next year.

After my last summer, which didn’t go so well, I’ve been hesitant to consider taking more summer classes. However, this summer they are offering a course that I don’t really want to take next winter because if I do, I’ll risk taking five classes again… which I’m not sure I’m ready to try again after all the stress. So, I’ve been thinking about getting it over with. I’m just waiting to talk to an academic advisor to ensure that it will satisfy the requirements for my degree, because it’s not the kind of class that I want to take just “for fun.” Ugh, sciences.

Anyway, a big worry of mine has been satisfying all the requirements of my degree. I’ve got all of the “easy” stuff covered, but I’m getting to the point where I need to complete upper-level classes for disciplines outside of my degree… which I was actually really worried about because I wasn’t sure that I completed enough second-year classes to move onto third and fourth years outside of creative writing. But, because I was so worried about it, I did some research and I’ve found that I don’t really need to do any second-year classes to take third and fourth years unless they are super specialized. So I can still take a bunch that would satisfy those requirements without taking any more second or first-year classes. I might end of taking another first-year class even though I don’t really need to so that I can get access to some higher level classes that I’m really interested in taking. But, that’s still something I need to figure out for sure before I decide on anything.




Black Desert Online

Hey guys,

It feels kind of weird to actually be working on another blog post within a week of writing the one before this. What?! I’ve actually found time to do something that’s not directly related to school? I know, it’s almost a tragedy. But I found out, when writing my previous post, how stressed I was about school. I mean, obviously I’ve been pretty stressed about school and I’ve been aware of it, but I guess I never really realized the extent of it until I wrote that post.

Anyway, the reading break has started and I’ve got a week off from classes. I’ve still got like three essays due by the end of the break, but without the need to go to classes, I’ve got a lot more time. That means more time spent taking care of myself, video games, and, yes, surprisingly enough, writing that isn’t for school.

I’ll probably talk more about the things I plan on writing in the near future, but today I actually wanted to talk about the video game that I’ve been playing near-obsessively since the beginning of 2017’s summer. Well, I actually started playing in Oct 2016, took a break, then started playing again.

The game is called Black Desert Online, and it’s a Korean Mass Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) with a huge focus on Player vs Player (PvP) combat. But there’s so many things you can do besides that– hunt bosses, cook, go fishing, or other lifeskills that don’t involve combat at all, let alone PvP. Overall, there’s a lot to the game. I admit, when I initially started playing, I was a bit overwhelmed and that’s part of why I stopped playing for a while… though a large part of it was actually my computer basically dying on me for a while (and not because of school, hehe).

As of late, I haven’t been doing much PvP, or, really, playing much at all. I get maybe a few hours tops a week to actively do anything in the game, which is usually consumed by the events organized by my guild, and not to actually do something that I want to do. But that’s fine, I’m happy just doing a little bit of whatever because I can’t really stand killing monsters for 10 hours straight anymore just to get a couple % of the way toward my character’s next level.

A big plus, for me, is that a lot of progress can be made in the game without actually playing. I can set my character to do something and she will do it until her inventory is full or until some other condition isn’t met anymore. So, I can leave the game doing something for hours without touching it, giving me lots of time to do homework and still getting that sense of progression in the game.

I think that’s really all I have to say about it. I mean, honestly, I could write for hours about how beautiful the game is and about all the different things you could do, but all I wanted to do for now was just mention it. Maybe if you’re into MMOs, you should take a look at it.


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.




February and March Anime!

I missed my post for February because I was lazy/ busy/ whatever, so I’m just gonna throw in what I watched from then in this post as well.

So let’s see… I watched the rest of Fate/Zero, Fantasia Doll, started Cowboy Bebop, and watched the available Nyanbo episodes. I’ve let Trickster episodes pile up so I can watch them all at once, I’ll get around to that once I finish Cowboy Bebop.

Fate/Zero was pretty amazing. I watched it kind of a while ago now so I can’t recall all of the details, but the animation was gorgeous, the magic was really cool, the characters were great, and the story was pretty good. It’s basically about some preset magical war that begins between a couple magical houses. They get to summon these cool “avatars” based off of historical figures that fight on their behalf. It ended a lot differently than I expected, but looking back on it, I think that may have been because I was so caught up in the story that I didn’t see the hints.

Fantasia Doll was alright, but it was a little too cutesy and cliche for my tastes. It reminded me of Cardcaptor Sakura (in a good way) and though they kind of used the card aspect a little differently than most card game animes, it still feels weird to watch an anime about people playing a card game.

Cowboy Bebop is great so far, but I’m only a couple episodes in so I’ll talk about that once I’m done or at least further through.

I’ve saved talking about Nyanbo for last because I love, love, love this show. It is most definitely a kids cartoon and the episodes are only five minutes long, but it’s just so loveable. From what I can tell, the actual plot is very minimal. The characters are these box-looking “alien” not-cats that act like cats and have strange powers. They don’t know why or how they came to Earth, but one of the main characters is set on them rebuilding their UFO so they can get back into space. And they actually do find UFO pieces throughout the show. I don’t know, it’s just adorable and funny and super easy to get into, so I guess that’s why I like it. 🙂

Well, that’s all I’ve watched for now!



Nevernight by Jay Kristoff was such a good book that I ended up writing an essay on it for my second-year creative writing class. A quick look at the blurb and you immediately think “super cliche” (female assassin bent on vengeance, school of assassins, etc) and I thought this too when I first saw it, but I picked it up anyway because I loved the cover.

Honestly, my essay was probably garbage (it hasn’t been graded yet…) but I went into a lot of detail about the characterization of Mia Corvere, the protagonist, and her experiences. I thought the detail that went into her development was astounding (even more so that I was able to identify a lot of it) and that’s what sparked the idea for my essay.

I’d suggest the book to anyone who likes fantasy, specifically in the young adult/ grimdark subgenre. For most advanced readers you might see a lot of the plot mechanics clicking about as the story progresses, but I found the writing itself very good, so it’s still worth the read.

I hope someone else decides to pick it up. It’s definitely one of my new favourites. 🙂


My DnD Character

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about dnd, and since it’s something I do pretty regularly now, I suppose that’s kind of strange. So I thought that I’d talk a bit about the DnD that’s gone on since I started university, then from here on out write semi-frequent updates on my campaigns.

I’m currently playing in two campaigns -one at the university, the other not, but I’m only going to talk about the former in this post.

As a part of games club, we do dnd and other tabletop roleplaying games every week. There’s lots of people who participate so there’s a bunch of different groups, but my current game is run by a newer dungeon master with four players, including myself. The group used to be bigger, but just before winter break a different group finished their campaign and lost a couple players. So when the new semester started, they didn’t have enough to start a new session, but my group gave up two players so they could.

It kinda sucked for us, but we’ve managed so far. Anyway, for this campaign, I’ve been playing a female human cleric. If you’ve never played dnd before, you might see the world ‘cleric’ and go “ugh support so lame” but with that, you’d be completely wrong.

Wyvia Louv is a war cleric. She slices shit in half with her battle axe, blows people to smithereens with thunder waves, and only heals teammates when they’re one turn from dead.

She’s not a bitch or a badass. She just doesn’t give a shit about anyone or anything. I guess that’s what happens when you decide to roll a neutral/neutral character, instead of someone with the tendency to do good or evil. At first glance, you might think that makes a boring character, but it’s actually been quite fun to play.

See, just because she doesn’t care about other people, doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about herself. So when someone tries to fuck with her, she’s not gonna tolerate that shit. At first, I spent most of my time observing the other people in my group, our NPC companions, and our surroundings, but I eventually moved from that to keeping an eye on the troublemaker of our group.

It’s been interesting playing a neutral character mostly for the developing characterization. Going from not caring about anything to caring about the group of travelers I’ve been paired with has been a slow, thought-provoking experience. I don’t know how much longer I have to see this character grow, but every session is extremely helpful for learning bits about the nuances of characterization that really make the characters real.

Maybe I’ll go into more detail on that another time.


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. 


January Animes!

I’ve been trying to make time to watch a lot of anime lately because I think it’s pretty useful for learning mannerisms, and it’s good listening practice. I’m starting to recognize a decent amount of words (even if it sometimes takes me a little while to figure out what they are, once I’ve recognized them) which feels pretty good.

Anyway, since January is just about done, I figured I’d just quickly mentioned what anime I made it through this month.

I finished Yuri on Ice, Izetta the Last Witch, Mob Psycho 100, and made it through all the available Trickster episodes.

Yuri on Ice was pretty cute. It’s a short anime focused on figure skating and stuff, but I thought the characters were pretty great, even though they don’t do much more than skate and hang out sometimes.

Izetta the Last Witch is probably one of my current favourites. It’s a fantastical, alternate history that takes place during WW2. I loved the characters in this as well, and I thought the magic was pretty sweet.

Mob Psycho 100 was super confusing and funny. Like I mean it wasn’t confusing in a bad way, things made sense most of the time, but sometimes things just happened and they seemed completely random at first but they eventually mostly make sense. It was strange, but I liked the premise a lot.

Trickster was alright. I thought this was especially helpful for helping with my listening since it was a lot closer to slice-of-life than any of the others I watched (even though this is technically sci-fi) as it followed the lives of some students and their detective shenanigans. I honestly thought it was done at 13 episodes but it seems to be continuing on, so I guess I’ll see where that goes.

I also started Fate/Zero and made it through the first two episodes, but I was doing homework and not really watching so I think I need to go back and start again. It looked cool, though. I just need to pay more attention because there seems to be a lot going on, haha. 🙂

Gonna keep trying to get through as much anime as possible. Not only for the practice but because there’s a lot of stuff that I need to catch up on since I haven’t been watching all that much over the last couple of years.


Avatar: The Last Airbender

Maybe I’m a terrible person, but I never actually watched the whole Avatar cartoon until last year. I’d seen a couple episodes here and there, and I’d always wanted to watch the whole thing, but I guess I didn’t have the motivation to sit down and go through it.

At some point when I was self-teaching myself about writing, I read somewhere on Reddit that the plot and characterization in Avatar were top notch and that it was an excellent source to study. So I took that and made it my reason to finally watch it. I didn’t do it right away, of course, but I did eventually start it and make it through the whole series.

It was amazing. If you haven’t watched it yet, and like lighthearted fantasy, you should give it a shot. I still have to find time to watch the legend of Korra (a spin-off series that’s supposed to be just as good), but I’m looking to start that sometime in the next couple months. I’ve just got some other shows to watch first.