June 2021 Update

Hi y’all! Hope you’re doing well, because I’m doing great. XD I’ve been taking things easy, focusing on what I enjoy, and how best to translate that into other aspects of my life.

Recently, I’ve been making a lot of progress on my private writing, so I’ve been planning on getting back to working on some things to potentially share. I’ve been enjoying, just generally enjoying things 😁, and wanted to share over the next few months things that have been bringing me joy. Over on my music blog, I have a new post coming soon after this one that will go a bit more in depth on some of what I plan to share next, but here I can tell you a bit of what to look out for.

Writing! It’s still being done, but I’ve been feeling a shift in the type of writing I want to do and share. I will be participating in Camp NanNoWriMo this July, to finish what I’ve been working on, then it’s a new project planned for November’s NaNoWriMo event. I also have some things I want to write about, but I’m not sure how exactly I want to write them. We’re exploring and experimenting with form and media, so we’ll see what ends up happening in the end. 😌

As you probably already know, I don’t just write, I like to do a little of any and everything I can. XD I already have my playlists for next year’s Valentine’s Day planned, now I just need to do the art, but I’m marinating on the songs for a bit before I do the covers for them.

In other music related news, I plan to be a bit more active on my music blog, and musically in general. XD I’m planning on picking up another instrument and am looking forward to sharing my progress and fun covers.

👀👀👀

I’ve had this idea for a while, picking a new hobby each month and sharing my learning journey. Who knows, this might be the beginning of such things? I love learning new stuff. I already have a YouTube account, Twitch, and Instagram — it might be fun to share how I like to best have fun, trying new things. XD I guess between now, and starting my new instrument, I have enough time to put some things together. 😁😁😁

I’ve really enjoyed writing purely for fun again, but I’m also realising how much I just generally love telling stories, and there are so many ways you can do that! I think the lives we lead are full of interesting anecdotes and tales, and what I really enjoy is showcasing this. Stories are what connect us and help preserve and facilitate community. They’re how we understand and learn our cultures and traditions. I really love learning about people, and the stories of our lives are one of the most beautiful ways we can recognise and see each other. Anywho, I’m looking forward to sharing more about the stories that make up my life, and sharing my explorations of the stories that make up the lives of this world.

Hope you all are having a great day!

Sentimental, It’s Up!

Thoughts

Sentimental! I finished it last month and have been so eager to share it. XD Finally I’m able to. If you’ve noticed…the blog has changed a bit XD. I added a new page for housing links to downloads and I changed the theme a bit. I think I’ll change the theme a bit more later, but I was feeling the floral vibe.

Back to Sentimental tho! I had a lot of fun working on this and I can’t wait to share more things. There are definitely poems and art that didn’t make the cut, plus it’s already a bit outdated as far as my current writing goals and interests. I’ve spoken a bit about it on Twitter, but I’m really interested in further exploring visual storytelling. As you may already know, I’ve been working on a game, but that’s just one way to tell a story. I’ve often played around with writing scripts, but never sat down and finished one because I wasn’t quite sure how best to tell the stories I wanted to tell. The stories I’m working on now are fairly clear in what mediums I think they suit, so I’m excited to go back to playing with scripts and messing around with a new way to share some writing.

I found I really enjoyed the art aspect of Sentimental, and I’ll probably make more art/poem pieces later. A bit like my Valentine playlists, I realised I really enjoy making the art first, then setting it to words. I wouldn’t say making or finding things that fit the poems was difficult, however I often found myself wanting to create something entirely new and set the collection in a completely different direction. There were so many aesthetics and themes I wanted to explore, limiting myself to the given poems was hard. XD I’m definitely going to keep making more inspired art.

What Next?

I have some personal projects I’ll be working on, GMing a game of FAE next month and working on care packages for friends☺, but when not working on those, I think I’ll return to trying to finish TLGaOS. Somehow my “cute little short stories” have turned into little almost-novelettes so…we shall see. XD Editing will hopefully take them back down to a manageable short-story length, then I’ll put that out. Not sure about selling them to mags since they’re meant to be together…however they are all very different, it wouldn’t be bad to direct the stories to individual audiences that might appreciate them more separate than together. XD Less confusion that way. The worlds in TLGaOS are all completely different, and the setting genres aren’t all the same.

As far as Yaisha, or The Monk and the Prince (G&Y) as I’m now calling it, Sentimental and a zine discord I’m currently in made me want to explore the world a bit more. I’ve been struggling to get the story written, so I figured more worldbuilding and researching, plus trying to get a better feel of characters and the setting will be nice. A couple years ago I did Blood and Ink, which is a poetry month challenge for October, and I ended up writing a few poems about YnG characters and the world.

It was all completely accidental, the prompts just lead me in that direction, but I ended up really enjoying working on these poems and wrote a few more after the event was over. I think I want to explore the histories and stories of this world in a different form than the story I was working on before. It might end up an epic poem, might end up a “collection of historical fragments,” who knows? XD I’m just gonna do whatever this story seems to want.

As for everything else, I’m just focusing on doing what I can, when I can. All in all, I hope you find some things in Sentimental you like, and I hope your days go well. Sentimental was a lot of fun to make, and I hope it brings you as much comfort to read/look at as making it brought me. 🤗🤗🤗

Woo hoo! We done!

It’s been about two years since I first decided to try my hand at creating a little poem collection. What began as a fifteen poem chapbook, turned into an experiment with word and art. Sentimental has been a project about pulling the recognizable out of abstraction. I had a lot of fun working on the art, and can’t wait to begin work on new things taking all I’ve learned from working on this project.

I plan to make Sentimental available next month. I’m still working on how I’m going to publish it, I think it may be as simple as adding a download to this site? We shall see. XD

I’ve been really busy these past few months, but that’s now coming to a close. It’ll be nice to start working more on other things. Writing is a sludge I’m trying to push through, but I think I might just turn my attention to things that use up less energy, like kicking off my FAE RPG set in my Supers world and researching for other projects. One thing I miss from the days Sentimental was written in, writing didn’t feel like such a chore. It’s hard these days to write with the intention of sharing it, and feeling like the process is worth it. Sentimental is a personal project, but it’s also one I did just for fun. I wanted to try something new and get my words out there. Even the art was simply because I felt as if the full scope of Sentimental wouldn’t be complete without the art I felt paired with that phase of my life.

Sentimental marks a moment in time, and it’s nice to see and reflect back on things I once did. I have new interests, new writing styles, even new speakers in my poems. XD It was an exploration of styles and genre of art I didn’t often connect with or utilize at the time. Now I find myself realizing I want to add art and poetry to everything I do!

It’s interesting how Sentimental was made as a way to cope through a hard time of my life, and now when things in the world really look dull, I find myself happier and more encouraged than before. Sentimental, in a way, prepared me for the now we live in, and I hope it brings comfort to others as it brought comfort to me.

I’ve talked a bit about my migraine, but I haven’t gone into detail about other aspects of my life. I’m sure at later dates I will, but for now enjoy these snippets of insight into my own experiences and navigation of this world.

☺☺☺ (Three Happy Faces in a Row)

A digital painting wip

An update! I’ve been busy thanks to a move so I haven’t had time to work on WBJ. I also had a bit more low energy days than usual, but lots of time to think more about my projects, and just generally think about life. I’ve got a lot of goals I want to achieve, but I’m enjoying taking my time to create the art and projects I want to. I’ve also been able to finalise some things!

So here are my updates in no particular order .

  • Farm Lyfe

My story inspired by some of my favourite games finally has a medium I’ll write it in! Looking forward to sharing with you all my game. XD Farm Lyfe (title still in work) will be a Harvest Moon inspired game following a young adult protag who has inherited their family’s ancestral farmland from their recently passed grandparent. The story follows your character as they spend time back in their homeland and make the decision to remain and bring the old farm back to its former glory or return to the city their family now calls home and try to begin a new family tradition.

The game will have the usual things, different love interests, farm/other trades mechanics, timed relationship events and etc.. I also am really excited to work on the more fantastical aspects of the game/story. Something I love abt Harvest Moon is the magical aspect. The home region of the MC is a place with a rich history and vibrant culture that reflects the environment it’s named for. Trying not to spoil y’all, but I’m reallly hype for this!

I’m also going to be pairing with a friend to try and make a lil comic for it. Figured while I’m playing with mediums, I’ll try my hand at other forms of script. XD Look forward to it!

  • The Lemon Grove and Other Stories

I’ve spoken a bit on twitter about my series of short stories about Black women in love and being loved, and this is it. Working on Yaisha (Y&G) has taken a back burner for doing more research and such. I want to flesh out more of my world before I dive back in fully, though I’m still writing a bit as I go along. I haven’t written a short story in a good while, so I thought I’d work on this between other projects.

Each story of TLGaOS is centered around a Black women on the precipice of…something. XD First we go to a fantasy land on the rise again after war, and follow our heroine who is a burgeoning journalist in hopes of single-handedly bringing a new way to connect the diaspora displaced and now in need of a different way to keep up with family, friends, and their past communities. Our next story takes us from valley countryside, to the mountains. It is a different time and new place. The stories, while similar in theme, all take place in a world of their own. The second story’s heroine is an older women who’s been forced to return to her home town after an unlucky stint in the big city. Her dreams of making it big as a writer in an unsleeping city have fallen through, and she is forced to reassess what it is she wants her life to mean, and how she means to get it. The last story is about a young starlet shrouded in scandal. After her embarrassingly public divorce from her ain’t mess husband, our heroine must decide what her next steps in life will be. Having dedicated everything to her career and her relationship, not realising she’d left nothing over for herself, what now?

I’m really excited to be working on these!!! I love the characters and their worlds, and am excited to try working on something that the whole goal is just to tell a story and let it be. XD I have no interest in diving back into these worlds, though I do want to have fun building them up and following these protagonists as they come to another turn in their lives.

They’re all romances, the relationships will be m/f and f/f, with a lot of emphasis on community and family. I’ve had the story for these ideas in my head for a while now, but I think now would be a great time to get them down on paper (maybe literally…it’s been a while since I broke out my fountain pens XD). I can’t wait to share these stories with you all! If you just wanna see Black women get loved on and cared for, this will definitely be the collection for you.

  • Sentimental

So…I’ve been working on this poem collection for what??? Two years now? XD I can’t believe I thought it would be so easy to finish and get out, though I think I expected it would end up taking longer. XD Always good to think optimistically, I find the end results often are more encouraging than what I could have come up with before.

Sometimes last year (I think?) I decided I wanted to incorporate more art into Sentimental, so that’s what I’ve been working on this year. I’ve further finalised the poems, and now it is coming up with and deciding what art to pair them with. Words just seem so bare when they’re on their own, and I think over the span of creating this/working on it I’ve realised how much I really do love the many different art mediums and how much I want to be an artist that isn’t tied to just one form. Deciding the style of art, it’s form, how it will appear in the book, etc. has been really enlightening and entertaining.

It’s no secret that I’m really a novice when it comes to drawing and painting, and tbh I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to poetry too. I’ve always written, but I’ve always told stories or presented information and opinion. I haven’t really tried something like this before, something so rooted in formality, yet is both personal and dynamic. Poetry and art is weird. XD

I think I always go back to noveling and story writing because there is a solidness to it that is comfortable and grounding. Even when writing about fantastic things, I often go at writing as if I am writing down a history of events, what I’m writing is something rooted in reality. You can’t really be too metaphorical or haphazard when writing a book. How will readers know what you mean? How will they know what is and isn’t “real” as far as the story goes? What will they be able to visualise and understand if you only talk in maybes and feeling? What can they intuit from abstract? Poetry is difficult because it is a more abstract way of saying something. To be honest I don’t always get a lot of poetry, but writing poetry is fun, and making visual art is fun. Visual art, particularly for me, is more of a hobby than anything, but I like how it can add another level to anything you’re working on so I’ve been looking into incorporating more of it in my overall work.

Sentimental will definitely be interesting, that I can say. I’m looking forward to creating something a little different than what I originally set out to make. Working on this has been fun, and I’m already looking forward to working on my art medium hybrids. XD Definitely look forward to some new zines sometime in the future. Especially with the internet being what it is, and digital media being a thing, I’m really looking forward to creating something special later one incorporating all the mediums and styles of art I love!

Outside of my lil projects, I’ve just been having fun making things. Working on some private writing projects, doing stuff for fun with friends, jsut doodling and playing around with art apps. It’s been nice taking what moments I can to just have a good artsy time. XD I might share some of it later, might just keep it to myself. We’ll see.

Hope y’all having a good week and looking forward to your weekend. Hope y’all staying safe and doing what you can to find moments of rest and peace.

Ttyl (Talk to y’all later lmao)

WBJ 👀

So in a wild turn of events, working on my story hasn’t actually been as easy as writing my migraine essay. XD Usually it’s been the opposite problem for me. This has been a strange month as far as migraine and having the spoons to write goes. I will eventually complete World Building June, as I did Blood and Ink, but I will take my time with it and finish and post it over the course of the summer. Besides, Yaisha is a story that’s undergone a lot of changes since starting it, and it seems it just refuses to be an easy write. XD Even the world building is going to take me a lot more time and energy than some other stories. I’ve also been considering working on my Mystic Falls story as well (the vampire/werewolf romance), and will probably work on this world for WBJ too. XD

As far as sharing things goes, I’ll post days individually on Patreon and share them in bulk after I’ve built up a weeks worth here. I like sharing bulk posts. XD It’s fun to see how the world comes together as you build it up. I also will be mote careful of keeping out spoilers on these posts, but as someone who doesn’t mind spoilers and likes seeing and sharing the full writing process, I don’t mind spoiling y’all a bit on Patreon. 😉

The daily posts will be free, but ones with spoilers (if any) I’ll add to the pay tiers. XD If you don’t mind waiting to see the edited version later, you can just see the full post later. Or, if you don’t mind potential spoilers, you can just become a patron. XD

I’m already done with D1. I think I posted it? If not, it’ll be up for free on Patreon soon. XD

Hope y’all having a blessed day wherever you’re reading this!

XOXO

Word?

Just went over my poem selection for Sentimental and realised??? I think I’ve got it. I’m really digging everything right now and after a couple more edits I think I’ll have finished the base of the book.

I knew it was a little ambitious to say I’d finish everything in a year, it’s been two now, but it’s something that’s meant a lot to me and working on it and reflecting on it has been a great experience. I have no experience with making and publishing chapbooks so this will be another interesting experience. Writing, I can do. Putting that writing together in a pretty book bundle? That’s a lot harder. XD Even when I’m working on my stories I tend to work on scenes and string them together rather than work on the entire story from point A to point B. I take a lot of diversions and work on a lot of other things instead of just sitting down and writing a story out straight.

Anywho, I can’t wait to finish prettying up Sentimental and sharing it with everyone. It was a hard thing to work on, but right now I’m pretty satisfied with it. I just hope it’s as much a blessing to others as it has been to me. ☺️☺️☺️

Personal Interlude

I said a poem a day and I intend to have 30 poems out by the end of April, early May. I also said I wanted to write something about my migraine experience, something I mentioned on Twitter, but planned to share a longer piece here on. I’ll probably take a break from poetry and work more on my migraine essay.

I’m also still working on my #voicesonfiyah novella, The Swan Prince. It was supposed to be my Camp NaNoWriMo project until I decided working on shorter pieces like poetry would probably work best for me this month while I work on my health stuff. I might go back to it week after next seeing how things go.

I’m really curious though, have you ever tried topiramate? For migraine, particularly, because that’s why I was prescribed it. I had some really weird reactions to it I’ll go into when I make my migraine posts (it’ll probably be a series) but apparently my brain/body is just mad weird on that stuff, but a lot of people seem to not have the best experience with it. However my experience didn’t really match up with what seemed to be happening to a lot of people, unless I was just not understanding because of how they described it/how I describe and understand my body.

Anywho, that’s my update. I’ll probably do another batch poem post next Monday like I did this Monday, or possibly Sunday, but I’m really tired and coming off my meds so, we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to writing, because those meds really weren’t good for my language abilities at all. Whew~

Anywho, happy writings y’all. Have a good weekend! 💖💖💖

NaNoWriMo Musings

Here’s what I had when I started this post (because I never seem able to start and finish these in a timely manner):

This has been a weird NaNoWriMo for me. Somehow the best, yet least productive attempt I’ve done to finish a novel (novella in this case) in all the years I’ve tried, I’m having fun though. The Swan Prince was chosen because I wanted to do something light, fun, and quick. I didn’t expect it to take so long, but after spending so much time on larger projects and fanfiction, I had a corrupted sense of time. XD I’ve forgotten how much work actually goes into a story like this. Not quite as much time spent constructing the world as my other projects that branch entire years and eras worth of made up history and futures, but also not as quick as throwing out a new idea that exists within a pre existing world with already well known and understood characters.

I used to write short stories with much more frequency, but then my ideas eventually became too big (and as I’m writing this I just realised how I can downsize one idea in particular) and I redirected my attention.

– Cass back on the 21st of last month

Tbh I wish I had completed this at least a day later because then I would remember what amazing idea I had to downsize one of my story ideas. I hope I wrote it down somewhere in my notes because I just cannot remember after re-reading all that. Great goings overambitious past me!

Self-annoyance aside, this forgotten post still follows, more or less, what I planned to say today anyway. NaNoWriMo went great! Did I win? No. Did I finish any writing? Absolutely not. But did I learn? Yes, so I think that makes me the real winner here, don’t you?

I’ve been having a lot of fun working on the Swan Prince. I had a breakthrough with my little darling protagonists and I can’t wait to really bring them into existence and get their story done and published (even if that just means me throwing my words up here as little chapters to read through on my blog). I don’t expect, or even want, much from this story. Like I said above, I wanted to do something simple and fun and this seemed the perfect story to do so. Last year I had Yaisha, but Yaisha turned into something much larger and more serious than I intended. I’m not mad about it, but working on it again after the year I’d had (and earlier attempts at working on it) seemed counter-productive.

I have a number of other projects still in the works, that poetry book, turned poetry/art book, turned IDON’TEVENKNOWIFICANSHOWANYOFTHISTOANYONEEVER, still looks like it’ll fight me all the way. I’d planned to get it done and out by now, but how silly of me to assume I’d be cooperative with my own self. Hah! The lies we tell ourselves when we’re in mourning and hoping to appease the dead. Silly me to forget my relationship with the non-living. Not any better than my relationship with the breathing.

I write so much, you’d think I’d have something finished by now, but I don’t, and what I do have is all poems I’d rather not expose myself with. Last year I’d made attempts and set things in motion to expose myself to more opportunity to be vulnerable, and I will say this year I did achieve that. I’ve interacted more with other writers and artists. I even gave out my address to an online friend and we exchanged a couple letters. Heck, I even went out of my way to do something I never do and am deathly afraid of doing. I traveled solo. I went all the way down South to the school that almost killed me and met up with some friends. (I keep forgetting that was this year, what a long year it’s been. Honestly, my trip and my issues with travelling are another post all in itself)

While I don’t think at an outside glance you’d be able to tell how much improvement I’ve had in my life this year, I know how much I’ve improved. To the point that I’m back on my italics grind because yes, I do need the extra emphasis. This year, I expected it to be very difficult, and it was. I don’t think I’ve ever cried as much my entire life than I did this year. I’m sure you can blame some of that on hormones and unchecked health problems, but I think it can also be attributed to my own personal advancements in allowing myself the right to cry.

I may have mentioned this before on other posts here, maybe just on my music blog, but a big part of being an artist is the ability to be vulnerable. Vulnerability, as you may have guessed, just is not a word that is in my vocabulary. I hear the slightest sigh of an emotion and I’m already prepared to either punch it in the gut, run, or do all of the above and give an extra kick in the head while its down. I hate emoting. Hate it. I hate weakness, implied or otherwise. I hate not being in control. I hate irrationality. I hate, hate, hate it all. I hate vulnerability so much I’d rather die in a ditch than ask a stranger for help. I never understood people who talk bad about, “waiting for your prince charming” and similar concepts because they view it as an over-emotional fantasy of a weak and needy person. What are you talking about? That’s my favourite fantasy because it means I can pretend to be as strong as I want, but some magic perfect fella will come along, see through my bs, and force me to confront what I’m too stubborn to admit. I need help.

This year I definitely had to acknowledge that I need help, but that’s ok. Other years I…heard it. You know when you think of things but don’t really act on them? Or you acknowledge something in a, “noted” kind of way but never actually do anything about it, like when you cat harasses you for more food, but you know it’s still an hour before they need to be fed? That was me for the past sumntheother years. Trapped in a limbo of, “Ooh, this ain’t great” and “Lmao, shut up, we just trying to survive.” But the end of 2017 was like a big ol’ slap in the face of, “Well how long you plan on just ‘surviving’ hoe?”

While my writing still needs work, and it is frustrating being a writer who still seems so behind despite writing for over two decades now. I also have to remind myself that A. writing since you were in second grade kinda doesn’t exactly count. Like…it’s cute…but come on now. What were you really doing with your time back then, huh? You still wanted to go into space and be a vet. You weren’t thinking about being a professional writer, you were thinking about all the fun ways you can make your beanie babies and dolls have wild soap opera-y lives. B. Fanfiction…just isn’t the same as original. You spent a decade writing about making fictional boys you don’t own the rights to cry and work through their complicated emotions. It’s a little different from writing about your own characters crying and working through their emotions and that’s ok. And C. We all start somewhere, and none of us are perfect. As long as you don’t give up and keep working at it you’ll achieve something.

As a writer I really don’t care if I get the big bucks or become famous. Honestly, I’m not a people person so if I were to become a widely known author I’d probably hate every minute of it because ew. That sounds like the opposite of living in a cave and making enough to feed my pet moss frogs and keep the lights on. (I’ll use a nearby lake for water) But if I can complete something I feel really good about and wouldn’t hate reading over and over again? Then I think I’d have done a good job of things.

Quck update

Already said something over on Twitter but Wednesday’s are going to be post days now. No guarantees I’ll be able to be on here weekly, but I’ll try to post new things every Wednesday. I have so many poems, story updates, and snippets that I can start at least posting monthly.

An update also on my poem book, trying to figure out what art I want to use has been surprisingly difficult. You know how writers are always talking about the story carrying itself away from them? Well my art decided to take a different route. XD

It’s coming together quite nicely, and while I am bummed some of the things I wanted to use got lost, (phone problems) searching for replacements led me to something I think suits the theme better anyway. If not by December, I think I’ll be done and able to share by March.