Monday, January 19, 2015

Beautiful People | Writing Origins

Beautiful People is back! *cheesy children cheering sound effect* 
Paperfury (formerly The Notebook Sisters) has been putting on this blog linkup for awhile now but took a break for Nanowrimo—I both pity and applaud anyone who went through the entire month fully committed to that thing.
Now they're back with a special edition: the writers! After all, writers can be beautiful people too. I mean, we're the minds behind our beautiful characters so I suppose we must be beautiful ^.^ 
I've been given fifteen questions to answer and if you've got a blog and would like to answer them, head on over to this link and link up with the other bloggers! If you do so, comment below and I'll go read and comment. I'd love to take this opportunity to get to know more of my readers :) 

Onwards to the questions! 

1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?

I've been writing since I was four. No lie. My mom said that I started as soon as I got a pencil in my hand. So I guess that means fourteen That's a long time...
I didn't title myself as a writer until I was ten and went to my first writer's conference. It was for kids in my district called the "Young Authors Conference". All the teachers at the workshops referred to us kids as writers and so I adopted the term officially as part of my identity.

2. How/why did you start writing?

When I started writing as a kid, I wanted to keep stories in the way I kept memories. I could basically keep my imagination immortal and in the mind of a girl who plotted each Barbie game I played with my sister, there could be nothing better than that. 
The way I started was by drawing pictures and then asking my mom to write certain things on each page. After that it was my own writing in my own picture books and then I upgraded to scribblers I collected from school.
Now I write because to me, writing is an expression of truth. I'll never write anything I don't believe fully in. If a single sentence, word or even a whole page feels wrong, I delete it and start over.

3. What’s your favorite part of writing?

Extended metaphors, symbols and motifs! I love it when I can use those things to enhance the meaning of my story. Most of the books I want to write in the future are one giant extended metaphor. I'm super excited to write them ^.^

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle?

Staying focused is a big one but I think beyond that it's characterization. As an analytical person, connecting with my characters is rather difficult. I've had to work very hard to get them to the place they're at now. Next to characterization I'd definitely say pacing. 
Writing at night somehow brings out
the best ideas.

5. Do you write best at night or day?
It depends on what I write. Poetry will usually only happen at night, short stories are best in the late afternoon and my novel will have the best ideas at night.

6. What does your writing space look like?
I'm a bit of a nomad. I actually don't have a 'space'. I just float around and write when and where I can.

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?
Well I haven't completed a full first draft yet so I can't say. Based on current progress though, about five months.

8. How many projects do you work on at once?
One novel and then as many short stories as I please. I'll only work on one poem at a time but I'll always finish it in one sitting so I'm not sure if that counts as overlapping with my novel or working on a single project.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?

I like writing indeterminate endings. Some things will be happy, some not so much and some will be in between but the reader is left to decide overall how it ended. However since I've never actually finished a draft of a novel I'm not sure if this question really applies to me ^.^

10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.

Lois Lowry, Edgar Allen Poe, Anthony Horowitz, William Shakespeare and Jill Williamson. That's already more than a few and I could go on and on.
If you're a writer, you know
the feeling.

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?
I've started to let more people read it recently but I'm still selective. My novels I'll only let critique partners read for the sake of critique. I hate to have people read my unfinished work; since I value truth in my writing, I want to make sure that what people read is true truth.  
My poetry I'll let more people read but that's because when I finish a poem, it's finished. However, I'm still careful about who reads my poetry. It reflects a very deep part of me and what I was thinking when I wrote it. Reading my poems is like reading my mind sometimes and that makes me uncomfortable XD

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?
I would love for my work to be studied in schools. To have my writing looked at in depth would be a dream come true and even more so if I got to go into schools and talk with the students about my stuff to help them understand it.

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?
I'd probably devote more of my time to academics, photography or learning new instruments. I'm not actively pursuing writing as a full time career at the moment (still struggling through high school here) so other passions would probably just be more prominent. 

14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?
Yes, absolutely. I have many of those. I have a mystery that I'm holding onto for the future. It will be really hard to write but amazing when it's finished. 

15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?
The one I'm working on right now, Crec (though, I plan on changing it's name). Whether I publish it or not, I need to finish it and finish it well. The characters won't let me abandon it and as I mentioned before, I hate to leave my work unfinished. 

I feel like I learned more about myself answering all those questions. Hopefully you learned some stuff about me too! If you'd like to answer some of these questions, head on over to the link in the beginning of the post and let me know that you answered the questions. I'll be sure to check them out. 

Paperfury asked a bonus question on their blog asking if you're a one genre writer or if you can write many. So expanding on that question, what genre do you enjoy writing (or reading if you don't write) most and why?

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Looking Back on 2014: The Box of Good Things

Happy New Year!
2014's Box of Good Things
In November of 2013 I started a box of good things. Well it was supposed to be a jar but I didn't have any jars so I used a small box. 
Around the beginning of the year I was given a bit of flack for being a negative person and having a pessimistic view on life. When I found this idea on Pinterest I was eager to prove those people wrong.
At the end of each day, whether I had an overall good day or not, I wrote one good thing that made me happy that day. On new years eve or new years day, I get to go through all of them and remember all the good things that happened to me.

Some Highlights From This Year's Box

"Had a pillow fight with Amanda and Zack on the stage while setting up for Encounter"

"Singing Fix You in three part harmony with Zack and Amanda during Encounter set-up" 

"Waking up at 5:45AM then walking with Amanda to school in the dark" It was also really cold and snowy but that didn't ruin it for me. 

"Cassidy made my night by offering to help me with my essay—> due at midnight #international_input" And I ended up getting a good mark on it too!

"Played 'Ninja' after school with Zack, Justin M, Tanner, Titus, Jared and Jazlyn then went to Tim's" Tim's is short for Tim Hortons if you didn't know ^.^ 

"Laid on my bedroom floor harmonizing to Imagine Dragons for at least one and half hours"

"Video chatted with Tori and Cassidy for 2 hours"

"I felt pretty today :)" Never underestimate that one day where you just feel pretty for no reason.

"Amanda generally made me feel appreciated." 

"Saw the Lego movie with Karen"

"Lifeguarding was awesome!" 

"Had a great conversation with Nana at Tim Hortons after school :)"

"Wrote a good poem" 

"Found my new favourite song! Carry on by Scott and Brendo" And I ended up using it for a video project I did that summer. 

"Cleaned the large and small practice rooms. People were really happy, I was called an 'angel'" Those rooms never get cleaned. 

"Zack helped me with Bio at lunch today."

"Mom read the first 2 pages of Crec and loved it! ^.^" 

"Finish Reconte Moi Une Histoire filming"

"Was given the solo for "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" for yardbird on thursday." Yardbird is the jazz suit that our school choir performs at annually. 

"Amanda came over to work on a project and we got ice-cream from the ice-cream truck."

"Yardbird performance with my solo and ice-cream after with friends" 

"Went to Marissa's to watch meteors, drink coke and eat ice-cream" Apparently I have a thing with ice cream making my day good!

"Relaxing, no homework day." 

"Listened to mystery Adventures in Odyssey episodes while cleaning." 

"Went on a cross-city long boarding trip." 

"Filmed Encounter Videos with my filming family :D"

"Past my karate belt test for High Orange!!" 

"Played the piano for 3 hours and learned how to play Fly." 

2015's new and improved box of good things
This being my first year completing a box of good things, I was shocked as to how often I was saying to myself, "Oh I remember that!" Usually I remember the really bad things in the year since they leave a larger impact on me compared to little pleasant moments. But looking through my slips of yellow paper, it seems that all I needed was a little bit of a memory prompter to fill my head with thoughts of the good that came to me in 2014.
Whether that changes how I view the year as a whole or not, I'm not sure. However, I can't deny that I'm a little more optimistic heading into the new year. I can at least be certain that 365 good things will happen to me in 2015.

Do you have any highlights from 2014?