Quick Update

Hey guys,

March has been very very busy so far, so I ended up stopping posts for a while to keep up with my studies. Things are starting to calm down, though, so I’ll be posting again starting this Monday. Hope everyone has had a good March thus far. 🙂

~Erynn

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Some Literary Festival

I’m probably a terrible person for not remembering what it was called and being too lazy to look it up, but the festival itself isn’t really the point of this post so I guess it doesn’t matter. 

Anyway, last week there was some sort of literary festival here in Kelowna. It went on for a couple of days, I went to one reading as part of one of my creative writing classes. Us students had a private reading with Dina Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli, two awesome poets who also run the “Can’t Lit” podcast.

I think everything they read was from one of their poetry books called Rom  Com. It was a joy to listen to not only because they’re great poets, or because it was my first experience at a poetry reading, but also simply because I was having a shit day and listening to them really brightened my day. 

My encounter with them was a lite embarrassing, though. I’d just entered the building after an encounter that left me a little stressed and dizzy, and I was the only student in the room because everyone had just left to get coffee. My professor introduced me to Dina and Daniel, and I kind of stood there like an idiot, then said hi and reintroduced myself. Rip. I was so out of it that I didn’t even try to make fun of myself for being nervous because I didn’t think about it until later on, when I’d calmed down a bit. 

I didn’t say anything during the Q&A, and I kinda regret it. I had a good question, but I just really didn’t to talk to anyone. So I listened instead. I’ve been thinking about emailing one of them and asking that way, but I haven’t decided yet if that’s what I actually want to do. 

During the Q&A, though, I learned something important about poetry. Since I’m primarily a fiction writer, I’ve got it stuck in my head that everything I write either needs to stay hidden because it’s only for myself, or because if I share it, the writing won’t be worth as much if I want to publish it in the future. 

I don’t remember what the question was or what the actual response was, but what I got from it was that there are some things you write for yourself. And if a piece is emotional enough to warrant that title, then it shouldn’t be reserved to be sold and potentially diminished. It should be used by yourself for whatever you need from it, for whatever reason you felt the need to write it. So in my case, that I shouldn’t be afraid of putting some of my writing out there if that’s what I need it for. 

I guess this applies to fiction as well, but I feel like it’s more relevant to poetry because poetry tends to be more emotional or relevant to our lives than fiction. Not that it can’t be or isn’t, and not that poetry always is or can’t be irrelevant, this is just in the general sense.

So I guess that’s another reason I’ll be posting some of my actual writing–be it fiction or poetry or whatever–here on my blog every so often.

~Erynn

Desolace’s First Workshop!

So as I’ve mentioned before, Desolace has been one of my projects for like, ever. It’s a science fiction, kind of dystopia but not really, with some fantasy elements thrown in. Lots of fun.

I wrote out a draft of it when I was in high school, but ultimately I ended up setting it aside. I’ve tried to go back to it multiple times, but there were some big issues with it that I wasn’t sure how to address, and so there were many times where I’d get back into it, encounter one of these problems, and then because I didn’t want to figure out how to fix it, I’d drop it again.

The last time I picked it up was around October last year. I had a solid idea for the new first chapter, so I sat down and wrote all 2300 words in one sitting. I was exhausted after, closed it, didn’t look at it again for a couple days because I got the idea out of my head and then more or less forgot about it. But when I went back and looked at it… I wowed myself. It was most definitely the best first draft of anything that I’ve ever written. I was super happy with it. And so I made plans to start the next chapter.

I had a dozen ideas, of course. From the original draft I wrote, there were two other characters whose perspectives I introduced in the first few chapters of the book, so naturally, I wanted to start chapters for them and get their stories going. So that’s what I tried. It didn’t work, and I ended up getting frustrated and stopped writing Desolace again.

I’m gonna outline some of the problems I had, now, before I go into more detail about the writing of the second chapter (which I’ve more or less decided how it’s going to go, it’s just a matter of playing around with words to get it how I want it to sound).

First of all, the story was initially written with multiple characters who had their own point of view, because that’s how I usually write. But my protagonist, Arianne, has one of the most unique voices I’ve ever written before, and so it felt wrong to write it in the third person. It had to be re-written in third person. There was no other way.

The problem that stemmed from this, though, was that I’m vehemently against novels who have multiple first-person characters. Maybe I’m just retarded when it comes to reading them, but I just can’t stand it, I tend to get confused and forget whose perspective I’m supposed to be reading the story from. So I wanted to avoid that problem with this book by having one clear protagonist who maintains the first person perspective. Now, here’s the real problem. I’d planned the book to be written in the perspective of three different characters, and since I refused to make them all first person, that left me with two options.

  1. I write them as third person perspectives and keep Arianne as the only character in the first person.
  2. I cut them altogether and keep the story completely though Arianne’s eyes

I’ll be honest– the first option is what appeals the most to me because I love these other characters and want to give them times in the spotlight. But I’ve never read a book that’s written in first person and third person, although I know they exist. I’ve added a couple that I know about to my to-read list so I can see how they flow, see if I can make it work. I honestly think this is the right way to tell the story, but writing it like that makes me worried that I’d have trouble finding a publisher for it once it’s done. So I’m not sure what to do.

For now, I’m just writing the story in Arianne’s perspective. I don’t plan on keeping it this way, but for the sake of continuing with the story and keeping up the writing, I’ve decided it’s my best option for now. It’s not like I can’t go back and add the other two perspectives once I read one of those novels and think they read well. And maybe even before I get the chance to do that I’ll break down and write one of these perspectives and just see how well the chapters tie in together. That’s what beta readers are for, right?

ANYWAY, onto the actual topic of this post. That first chapter that I wrote, I ended up cleaning it up a little bit and submitting it to one of my creative writing workshops at school. Everyone seemed to love it and wanted to read more. There were a couple problems with it, of course, but it was mostly stuff that I knew about and didn’t really have time to fix before submitting. Things like lack of definite setting, not enough context (two things I’ve yet to get right in the first draft) and some weird descriptions that were just really confusing.

But I’m really happy with that. I’m super excited to edit this piece and try again, and even better, I’m motivated to keep up with the writing and get the next chapter drafted up. So that’s what I’ve been working on. 🙂

~Erynn

Makeup and Nail Art

This is kind of completely unrelated to anything that I usually post, but I guess this is my blog and I can post whatever I damn well please.

When I was a kid I think I liked makeup. Had one of those silly, enormous makeup kits and used to paint myself all pretty (I probably looked ridiculous) with my sister and stuff. But since then I haven’t really touched it. For a special event here and there I might have used it (I know I wore some eye stuff for prom), but otherwise, makeup was one of those girly things that got thrown away because it took too much effort and I didn’t care about being pretty anyway.

That’s sorta changed recently, I guess. I don’t really have any interest in prettying up my eyes or anything, and lipstick seems like a huge inconvenience, but I don’t think I really need any of that since for some reason I seem to have a pretty decent complexion. I’m not like super ghostly pale or anything anymore, and my lips are in good contrast. I have, however, taken an interest in nail polish. It started about a year ago, I believe, when I bought some just for shits and giggles. I wore it every so often but I was really bad at it so it wasn’t often.

A couple months ago I decided to give it another shot, and I guess it’s kinda fun to paint my nails. I’m still terrible at it, but I am getting better, and I’ve been experimenting with different colours and stuff. I think I mostly like it because it keeps my hands busy for a while, and when I’ve got paint drying on them I can’t really do anything with my hands anyway.

What I really wanted to say, though, is that the other day I bought myself some white nail polish because I figured why not. So I painted my nails and it looked great (even though this time the painting was a multi-hour process because I fucked up so many times). I kept the paint on for a couple days, but at some point I was sitting at my desk, writing in my notebook with a gel pen, and I wasn’t sure what to write and just ended up drawing on my nails. I was like woooaahh what a great idea! So now I’ve decided that I’m totally going to figure out how to not be a total pleb with nail painting so I can make them all super pretty with random pictures and stuff.

There’s a picture of my first attempt on my instagram, which can also be found on the right side of my blog homepage. 🙂

~Erynn

The Apocalypse

For the last five days I’ve been running around town with a machine gun, shooting the ever living shit out of all zombies in my path. They’re everywhere, and more keep coming.

My allies have turned against me and plan to leave me in this forsaken place.

On the plus side, my zombie kill count is 17. At least I’ve got that going for me.

The world has come to an end.

 

On a more serious note, the teachers here in British Columbia are on strike so school was let out a week early. I’m moving out on July 1st, and I can never seem to get enough sleep. Perhaps the world has come to an end…

I’ve packed up my library- most of my library- and am ready to go. There’s still probably about 150 books I’m leaving behind because I don’t have enough room. I’m kind of sad about that, but I guess at least I can leave most of that trashy YA that I read when I was 13 behind and built up my collections of other genres. Like, you know, fantasy, because that’s important.

Speaking of fantasy, one strange thing that I noticed while packing up all of the books is that I own a ridiculous amount of fantasy I’ve yet to read. Yeah, I know I merged my collection of books with my mother’s, but holy crap! About half of the books from the unread sector of my boxes are fantasy. I didn’t even know I had that much. I’m quite thankful for that actually, because that means I don’t need to go on a long-ass search for more books when I can just read all of the series I somehow already own.

In the writing world, Erynn is busy. I’ve been clinking away at Taichiren’s as often as possible and am looking to force myself to write a minimum of 500 words toward that novel every day. On top of that, though, I’ve got my work writing. I think I might have a little more work than I need at the moment, but with determination and more time, I’ll be all good.

One thing I’ve been paying a lot of attention to while writing for work is that I’ve improved a lot. My sentence structure seems to be a lot better than it was 6 months ago, my word choices are better, and I’m learning to avoid unnecessary words while writing, instead of eliminating them when editing. This would be things such as adverbs, ‘very’, ‘that’, etc.

Sorry for the slow updates guys, once I’m all settled again you’ll hear more from me. 🙂

~Erynn

My Birds!

I’ve felt like making a post about my annoying little chirpers for a while now, but I haven’t had the opportunity until today.

First a little bit of info on them… I have four cockatiels, two male, two female. I think they’re roughly about the same age but two of them are a bit older than the other two (one male one female in each group). Cockatiels themselves are very social birds and love either having a human who can play and interact with them constantly, or at least another friend for them to play with. Generally speaking, females are more shy than males and are much harder to tame; likewise, females also have much more difficulties with speaking/singing compared to males and it’s much more common to have a singing/speaking male than female.

I’d also like to note that at the moment I have two of the little buggers running around on my bed, chirping up a storm and probably pooping all over my pillows.

Kiwi was my favourite bird, so I’d like to share a story about him.

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Kiwi was a beautiful bird. He had very soft feathers (not an exaggeration, he had the softest feathers out of any bird I’ve ever owned or touched), and thus I made him like cuddling because I liked his feathers. He was probably also the smartest bird I’ve owned, and I blame his first owners for that (we adopted him from some friends because they got cats and didn’t want to keep him locked up).

I mean, seriously. This damn bird knew how to whistle/sing Hockey Night in Canada. Crazy right? I wish I still had a recording of it, but unfortunately, I lost it when my harddrive failed. He was also a sneaky bitch, always going after my food. He loved potatoes, chips, vegetables (not carrots though, for some reason), and especially pasta and other noodles. If I wasn’t paying attention to my food he’d jump onto my plate and prance around on it and claim it as his own.

It might seem kinda strange, but for two years before he died he slept with me every night. On my head. Just kinda chillin’ like it was nobody’s business. That became a habit of his one night when I forgot to put him back on his cage before sleeping, he loved it. Now that I think of it, he also loved drinking out of my cups. What a bitch.

Speaking of bitches.

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Kiwi was one sassy motherfucker. Ugh, that reminds me, he loved eating my books. Seriously, I had to hide them from him up really high or else he’d find them and ruin the covers. All of my homework was like that, too.

I’m not going to talk about how he died, that doesn’t really matter. He’s been gone almost a year now, I loved him, and I miss him. 😦

My other birdies are named Lemons, Crackers, Pacer, and Kiki. All four of them are adopted birds and all of them were named before we got them. I love them all, although Pacer hates people.

In order to avoid completely spamming you guys with pictures, I’m going to post two pictures of Lemons and Crackers because I don’t have any good ones of Kiki and Pacer, I’ll post about them another day. 🙂

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~Erynn