words…Words…WORDS

I’ve been sitting on this post since October. I guess there’s no more fitting time to share it than in the middle of NANoWriMo. XD I’ve been having a bit of a struggle getting the words I want down, and even being satisfied with writing, and wondering what other hobbies/creative ventures to try. I guess I already confronted this, around this time last month, but my memory is not great. Here’s the post:

These days I find myself in the midst of a transformation of sorts. I spent the past year thinking to myself, “well, I don’t feel any older or more adult,” and now, as I near my 26th year, I’m finding just how much I have grown and changed.

Its’s been a slow, but steady thing, growing up. What interests me has changed, as has my hopes and dreams, and what I believe the future can hold for me. It’s a strange thing, the realisation that what you once thought you knew, was never really what was known at all, and maybe how you thought things were, was only a vague understanding of a much simpler concept you saw as complex because you didn’t understand it yet. Strange to some, though not much to me, I really do enjoy the process of ageing and changing. Since I young age, I eagerly awaited my 90s 🤣 and the joy I’d have being old, grey, and settled somewhere making my longed and going existence everyone else’s problem. I’m less than a half ways there, but I’m happy I’ve made it even this far!

I’ve often said of myself, that I’ve always known who I was, and what I was about, and I’m finding this to still be true, however my understanding of how true that statement is has deepened over time, and I know it will only continue to grow more real and true as time goes on. I’m finding that, in youthful exuberance and brashness, there is a fortress I’ve built and maintained for protection, but with age I’ve finally reached a point where I don’t have to be on guard as intensely as before. I knew who I was since I was a child, but the person I was, was yet to be the one I am and knew I’d become.

It’s a hard thing explaining to others how you can be sure of yourself, and still insecure and vulnerable to outside harm. People don’t often understand how confidence is sometimes the best defence you can offer yourself against others and the world. I had finely crafted my outward appearance and image for my own protection and benefit. I won’t say I suffered greatly as a child, I was the sort of person who, even against great odds and misfortune, would never say I was deeply harmed or truly bothered beyond inconvenience, for my own sake. I experienced bullying and bullied others. I was harassed and did harassing. I had a basic understanding of faith, humanity, consciousness, and ethics, and utilised it all to try and navigate a world I knew would be too terrifying to bear if I didn’t practice strength in every way I could learn and utilise how. I made a lot of conscious effort to make choices I hoped would bring me to today, and I don’t regret the paths I took and ideas I stuck to, even as they’d have to change and evolve. I find this is just a way life goes, we can never really be one thing with one belief, and one mind all our lives. Even as we feel unchanged, we’ve shifted into something else all along.

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with anything. “Cass,” you might say, “this is a writing blog.” And you’d be right.

I’m finding these days that, as I’ve changed into something new over the years, so has my relationship with writing had to change. In recent years, ironically when I’ve possibly been my most active with writing again, I’ve also grown more distant and unsatisfied with it. When I first wrote, it was for fun, then as life continued to happen it became another plate in my armor and a stone placed into the foundation of my fortress. Writing became a weapon, a protection, a confidant, but eventually another foe.

People often create art for their own comfort and benefit, and I was no different. I wrote to see the stories and views I rarely saw outside of myself. I wrote to find community. I wrote to find and make peace with things I otherwise would have had to hold inside myself. It wasn’t necessarily enjoyable, how can doing something for survival be wholly entertaining? A bit like how having body image issues can damage your relationship with exercise, so can having other struggles damage your relationship with your hobbies. It’s a bit like when you have to ask yourself, “do I really enjoy working out, or am, I just afraid if I don’t, I won’t enjoy being in my body anymore?” I had to ask myself if I really enjoyed writing and the habits and beliefs I had acquired around it.

Truthfully, more and more lately, I’ve had to admit that I don’t enjoy writing. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love telling stories. I like to read and hear a story told. I love singing, I love music, I love playing games and being able to watch new worlds and ideas form and come to life, but I don’t enjoy writing.

Writing is difficult. That’s obvious by how often I’ve heard people complain about it. I don’t mind doing difficult things, especially as I’ve often found what others have considered very difficult, to be quite easy and intuitive. Writing isn’t really hard to me, it’s just not fun or enjoyable. I don’t enjoy putting effort into something, just to receive little use in return. Sometimes it feels like all words do is take up space.

Over the summer I started a project to try and make writing fun again, but I found it difficult to keep up my energy. I found I really dread the idea of sharing fiction I’ve written. The problem is, writing is a two way street, stories are meant to be shared; that’s how it’s been for millennia. I often want to share my stories, but I never know how to get them to people who will enjoy and like them. It’s disheartening to spend so much time working on something, just to have to spend even more time to be able to even share it with someone who will like it. It’s also difficult having a hobby that is often very inaccessible. With age often comes disability, and I was already born disabled. Writing in itself is often a battle of will and time, and I can’t always be fighting both.

Sometimes the best thing you can do when you love something is let it go, this includes hobbies. Over time I’ve found more things to keep me entertained and allow me to be creative. At the end of the day, what I enjoy most is bringing something new to life. I’ve always enjoyed crafts and making things, there’s a reason why all creative things are called a type of craft to learn.

As my relationship with my hobbies and goals change, so does my affection and temperance. I have so much I can be doing, I don’t see why I should make myself miserable for, “old time’s sake.” I still write, but I’m having to find peace in the idea that I may one day never write again, and that what I do write, and why I write, may change. I’m having to change, rearrange, and even discard some of the relationships I’ve made in relation to writing. I’m leaving communities, starting new ones, finding others, and being comfortable in the idea of writing just for myself. I used to really only write just for me, and I’m sure that’s really the secret. It’s a hard thing, wanting to have community and be known, but having to keep such a pure and personal thing of yours to yourself for safekeeping. It’s a shame when sometimes you have to hide things away that otherwise seem so inconsequential.

I’ll continue to write and share impersonal things. I don’t mind talking about such benign things as what I like, my many hobbies, and whatever else I’m into, but I’ll probably not be so eager to share my private projects. Writing is personal, that means readers and writers all have their own feelings and reasoning around the consumption and production. I don’t enjoy the feeling of having to dig into someone’s head, or having mine dug into. I don’t enjoy guessing games or assumptions. I like when things are plain and straightforward, and I prefer people respect when I give them an orange and call it an orange.

There’s not much else to say on this matter outside of I’m sad and disappointed. It’s not really a thing of heartbreak, as much as it’s a result of having to confront an uneasy truth. I’m not sure what else can be said. Hope you’re having a nice day. 👍🏽

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!

Maybe I DON’T Love All My Kids Equally 👀👀👀

Just finished a scene maybe for my book, mostly just to explore some characters and their dynamics/a new direction I’m taking with them for the story. ;_; When I finished writing I realised I always end up loving my side characters more than my MCs. I think “Emilio”, and technically “Moon Woman”, are the only stories where I’m like, yes!!! I love these MCs so much and can’t wait to write 59405074059742057240 words about them. XD

It’s not that I dislike my other characters, I just end up working on a story and loving the world so much and the characters outside the main plot that tend to add more insight into the outside world. It’s fun exploring worlds. I think I’ll just have to start writing a bunch of short story anthologies because I’m not sure just focuing on one character or even group of characters will ever be enough for me. XD

I also accidentally give other characters the sort of plots I like most. I want to write a certian kind of story for my central plot, but boy can’t I help it if a little angst and drama seeps out of me and into the story too. XD With Yaisha, I wanted to write something a little more light-hearted than what I’d been working on before. Emilio is quite serious, as it follows the life of a young man who was, essentially, a child-soldier growing up and thrust into the middle of a war he wanted no part in (who does?). Moon Woman is a Fantasy/Romance, but the central plot is about the two MCs trying to solve a crime and find out what happened to one of the MC’s relations after a civil war.

I really like serious stories. This isn’t to say that some of my other stories don’t also have serious elements, but I think the overall feel of the stories are just very different. Emilio is a tragedy. It would be odd to write it with the same almost childish hope and brightness of Yaisha. Yaisha has tragic moments, but the MC and his path is very different from Emilio. Their view of the world and the landscape they must traverse just don’t have the same mood.

In saying all this…I really like the antagonist I set up for Yaisha. XD I’m having a lot of fun writing his story and I think I’m not going to have him play a more central role. I’d always wanted him in the story…but is place wasn’t quite as fixed when it came to how to insert him, what his scenes would be, what direction he goes, etc.. I think I might turn Yaisha into a story with different PoVs.

When I initially came up with the idea of Yaisha it was supposed to just be a story about a young monk who gets caught up in this party of adventurers from all over and he ends up joining their party. It was a sort of tabletop rpg type story, something you could imagine a group of very diverse, but somehow they all came together for this game, friends to make. I had a very different cast of heroes and very different plot.

When I actually started writing Yaisha, I had lost my initial idea and only remembered the “monk roped into an adventure” part. Yaisha went from a fun story that was supposed to play with ideas of fantasy worlds and the cultures and creatures that make them up, and became a story about political intrigue, rivalling adventurers (and the many different types of groups that make up this kind of vague title), and a young man who just wants to explore a wide ever expanding and changing newly formed world.

I created Yaisha’s world and ended up going in a completely different direction. I gave it three dimensions, started working on actual governments, cultures, state lines, the works. I even gave the little monk an actual name and purpose. He went from just a sort of kind yet clutzy kid monk who’s life is full of kooky mishaps and adventure, to a young man who’s struggling with his purpose in life and yearns to find a place of belonging despite growing up in a monastery. He isn’t even an actual monk yet in Yaisha! Yaisha is just still in his training stage. XD

Writing Yaisha has been lots of fun! I don’t think I’ve changed a story up this much since Emilio, and even then, Emilio hasn’t actually gone through that many changes, I just have learned more things about the world and how to best work on this story. Yaisha now has, possibly, another main character? Or a character with greater prominence, and I’m really excited to keep working with him and seeing where else this story will now go. ☺️☺️☺️

Howdy

A life update. I’ve been working on some posts, but they’ve been a bugger to finish and put out. I’ve been writing though, which is nice, and I’m extra hype to be working on my Swan Prince story for NaNo this year, especially after seeing this tweet:

I’ve done NaNoWriMo every year since…about 2012 or 2011. I didn’t win until 2015, but I’ve enjoyed the attempts and any excuse I get to focus on my writing and be left alone about it. Also, with the past couple of months I’ve had, I welcome the distraction from life and it’s irrationality. I’ve never tried joining something like Voices On Fiyah before though, so this year’s WriMo is going to be even more exciting!

While, at least in my head, I’ve been thinking of doing at least 30,000 words for SP, I also knew I was doing it because I’d feel a kind of way about using NaNo to only write about 25,00 words, maybe even less. The story of the Prince and Emry isn’t one that needs much said, but now that I’ve had a spark of ideas for other existing stories, when I finish SP early I can work some more on them! Which would be really great. I might even finish ones. I remember that I finished 2015’s WriMo project because I had a sudden gust of inspiration one day and wrote about 15,000 words or so in one day. I don’t know what I ate the night before, but that boost really put me over the edge.

This year I’m hoping for another divine boost, but honestly I also want to take my time with this. I’m so in love with my characters for this story. The Prince is such a hoot, and Emry is a holler. I just want to get them onto paper and work them into life. I’m also hoping this year I can be more involved in the NaNo (And generally speaking, writer) community.

What are you guys excited about next month? If you’re doing NaNoWriMo too, what’s got you up in a happy tizzy?

Yaisha: Meet the Party

Here’s just a little bit about my main character and the others in their party.
Yaisha

Nineteen and naive of the outside world. Yaisha is a monk-to-be who loves his garden as much as the goddess he has pledged his unwavering allegiance to. Smart in his own way but too stubborn for his own good, he often fails in those boring and overly complicated subjects such as the Unnatural Arts, History, and Social Studies. A lover of nature and exploring, he hopes to make the most of his sudden adventure, even thought it means leaving everything he’s known and loved behind.
Ki’tha

Older than Yaisha by a year, but acts as if he’s at least twice as old as anyone he meets, Ki’tha is a young adventurer who travels the world taking on odd jobs and searching for trouble simply because he can. The former member of a notorious city gang known for being a thorn in any governments side within a 500 mile radius, he left a life of crime behind to team up with Axel who he holds in favour for showing him a better use of his mental and physical prowess than crime.
Axel

A man in his 30s, he sometimes wonders if he’s too old for a life on the road and if he should retire as an adventurer and live out the rest of his days in peace as a town blacksmith with his beloved family. Unable to shake the call to adventure however he holds his place in their guild as one of their most sought out swords for hire and hasn’t failed a mission yet. Not willing to lose that title now, he’s more than eager to make sure they complete their mission without losing a single soul.
Qrex

A dragon with an indomitable will, Qrex does what she wants, when she wants, and not even the most daring would attempt to stop her. An adventurer by happenstance, she lives her life in pursuit of one thing and one thing only, to increase the size of her hoard, as most dragons do. A follower of the Obsidian One, she wishes to follow in his footsteps and become a greater warrior of the bladed arts than anyone living or dead. She occasionally teams with Axel and Ki’tha on particularly difficult missions, especially if she thinks doing so will earn her a new worthy opponent, strong technique, powerful weapon, or anything else related to her quest to be the strongest being alive.

Some News!

This is a rewritten old post. I didn’t like the wording of it and was feeling a bit of regret after posting because of how personal it was, but I thought if I’m ever going to go forward as a writer I have to do it proper once or not at all.

So this year, though I do plan to focus on Yaisha, I will also be trying to focus on my writing as a whole. I used to write as my moods permitted. Some times I went through fanfiction phases. Then I would go into poetry phases. Then lastly I’d want to work on my stories. Now however, as much as I’d heard it but never followed, I want to become a more disciplined writer. Working on what I want to (and I suppose have to) rather than just waiting for the mood and inspiration to hit me and stay.

I know it won’t be easy, but I have goals in mind and time frames. It also helps that while this new project will be completed before next year, I still have another project to look forward to for the following year. I know it takes a while to finish and publish a novel, and I really hope Yaisha is that novel, so while I struggle along with completing Yaisha’s story I’m hoping this little book of poetry will serve to keep me occupied when working on Yaisha becomes a tad too overwhelming and my heads tired of it always playing over in my mind.

Partly inspired by last year’s heartbreaking end and my own personal struggles over the past few years, I hope you all will look forward to this. I’ll leave you with an idea of the sort of poetry you can find in this book. I’m also hoping to add some art, but we’ll see about that when we get there.


It is cold where we are

Dark

We smell the earth

Feel the dirt between our fingers

Grit in our teeth

Sweet clay between our bones
It is dark where we are

Cold

We feel nothing

We feel everything

We were nothing

We were it all

Writing Group

I mentioned this on my tumblr blog, but wanted to mention it here too.

I’m planning to start an online writing group. Well, a chat based writing group. I recently got Kik again, saw they now have groups, and thought a writing based group might be fun and help me stay motivated to keep working on my writing, not to mention meet more writers.

I’m not completely sure what kind of group I want it to be, but overall I want it to be a group where we encourage and support each other as we work on our wips. I’m thinking just in general sharing tips, helping one another with ideas, research, anything we can help each other with. Currently, since I am working on a fantasy novel, I’d like to include others who have also worked on a fantasy story or are currently working on one, it’d be great to have that fellow support and advice.  I figure as the group grows and matures we’ll find a nice groove that works for it, but until then no worries and we’ll see what we like and how we’ll get there.

I’d really like this group to be diverse as well. From personal experience sharing my writing over the years with those close to me, while I do love my friends regardless of ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, etc. I really do prefer to not have to…do so much work explaining my writing or why I wrote something the way I did simply because they can’t relate to me on certain personal levels. It’s exhausting, a bit demeaning at times, and stressful.

If you’re interested you can message me here or on twitter. I might make a post there as well. Even if you’re not interested, please share and spread this around! Thank you.

Once I get an idea of how many people are interested I’ll make the group and share the way to join. Thanks!

(I mentioned this on Tumblr, but didn’t want to forget to mention here, I also have a Discord so Discord is another possible means of chatting I might decide. It really depends on what the group would find the most suitable.)

Reads of the Year

Though I didn’t finish my novel, I’m still very keen to finish something before the year’s out. Though I doubt I will, I’ve at least finished reading quite a few books. After the election last November, Riptide Publishing sent out a post on their Tumblr with a trio (I think it was a trio at least) of different romance novel ebooks free of charge. After downloading and reading them all I fell deep in the Romance pit and haven’t quite crawled back out yet.

When I was younger I read quite a lot of books, but I never was terribly fond of the romance genre or romance plots. As a young girl I resented the idea that I needed a man in my life (well, a boy at that age) to do anything more than stand there and look cute while I lived triumphantly quite fine on my own and for my own, thank you. I mean, my top two female characters were Wonder Woman and Xena, and we all know how little Wonder Woman and Xena actually need men in their lives. They’re just a happy after-thought.

Now that I’m older however, I have mellowed out some, and have a new found appreciation and respect for the genre. Also, I have come to realise that I actually enjoy the romance, and I like romantic things both capital and lowercase. What I disliked was all the badly done romance present in most stories written for young people, and found in many of the things I watched or read growing up. Love sells, to paraphrase something we all know. While I thought Hunger Games could have done away with the romantic subplot, I adored the relationship between Katara and Zuko and what could have been (not to mention Suki and Sokka) from Avatar the Last Airbender. I discovered that what I loved, and have loved for a long time, is relationships. While I don’t like romantic pltos for romance sakes, I love a good story about people being people and all the ways they come together, interact, form and break bonds, and all the wonderful things that happen while we go on our own adventures, live our lives, and generally exist in our universes. It’s something that inspires my own writing that I hope others can also see.

This year I’ve read quite a few novels from Riptide Publishing, but I also got a few books I’d been meaning to read, wanted to own, or heard was interesting. All in various genres. I’d say, while I may not have completed any writing this year, I am glad however that I still stayed literately busy.

A list of the books I read this year in no particular order:

  1. The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
  2. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  3. Wake Up Call by JL Merrow
  4. Dawn by Octavia Butler
  5. Foxglove Copse by Alex Beecroft
  6. Friendly Fire by Cari Z
  7. House of Cards by Garret Leigh
  8. Blueberry Boys by Vanessa North
  9. In Other Words by  Jhumpa Lahiri
  10. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (for like…the hundredth time)
  11. The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett

I’m sure I read a few other, but can’t remember the names.

Here’s to a new year, new projects, new plans, and new reading.

WELP

So I attempted to make a character sheet, but then I got distracted by actually writing the story and, wow, let me tell you. I had no idea how long this story was going to be. I should have known because it’s a fantasy but I feel catfished by the short fantasy novel I read before November. Foolish me, who forgot it was a novel done in an already preexisting world so half the build up and story has already been told in that universe. It’s just another piece of the pie. Like with comics.

I am glad though, I’m still behind but I think by the end of today I will be caught up, and if I really push it I can get ahead. Whew. I definitely will be taking a break from this story once NaNo is over. I can’t wait to finish the story, but I know I will work myself dizzy if I try to do too much at once. I even changed a lot of the story halfway and now my first few chapters are completely different setting wise from the ones I have now. We went from Tolkein to Outlaw Star in .5 seconds flat. I think I figured out why I was struggling so much though, so that’s good. Everything can be cleaned up and made to fit in editing which is great.

When people say don’t worry about the story and just write, that’s really good advice. It may be a mess in the end, but you’ll come up with so many ideas and even if it’s weird at first, it’ll feel so good to just get something down on paper.

Talk about a roller coaster of emotion…

So my NaNoWriMo journey so far this year started with a roughness, but after not even being able to get to a 1000 words from the start, now am looking at 5000+ and counting (nearly at 6000) and belatedly remember that I already written some scenes out a month or so ago after trying out 750words and forgot to add those to my word count (if all goes as planned I should be able to just alter them a bit and slide them right in). I even forgot to type up a scene I’d written as well, bringing my scene document to 5000+ words and putting me right back on track for NaNo seeing as day 6 is supposed to be 10000 words.

I am, beyond pleased with myself. While, I would feel comfortable to have my daily goals met because of my main document, I feel as if after I finish the scene I’m working on now and sleep I can meet the day’s goal.

Well that’s my update, how are the rest of ya’ll doing?