I’m 20 years old now. What a scary thought.

Time is an annoying bastard. Regardless of how you think, he’ll run or he’ll drag his feet on the ground depending on his mood. The clock keeps moving when I feel like I’ve been glued to the ground, helpless to watch everything around me continue to spin and move while I stay the same. Here I am, two decades old, and I still have not a clue what I am. I’m not in the teens anymore, so I must be an adult, right?

Okay, there are many who would disagree with the above statement. There are too many water skiing grandmas. Too many young and old people in bodies unsuited to their age. Age is nothing in the face of the heart.

So then what is time to us anyway? My guess is it depends on the speed of time.

That might seem confusing, but think of the last time you lost someone. Did you feel like time stopped? If we lose someone important, we might grow angry that the rest of the world as it still goes on even with them gone. The baker will continue to bake his bread whether or not your deceased person is there or not. We will continue to breathe air, our feet will continue to carry us, until our own lives come to an end. It’s a frightening thought, really. Within the time of grieving, we’re forced to grow up and carry the slime time threw at us. You’re forced to shed your tears and keep moving, unless one will be left behind.

Then there’s the opposite, when time flies. During this point, Time means nothing because within your own world, time flows at its own pace. Your head is in a daze, and you lose track of what the rational world tells you. The time is so fun, so captivating, that it brings a lightness into your heart and you become a child again. Just for a bit. In that bit of time, you can just forget everything else and just fly.

There are other types of time too, bored time, indifferent time, etc. etc. All of it’s important. Even wasted time was for something. It just determines how much of a procrastinator you are. Time is dependent on the situation, and changes its speed because of it.

I apologize for rambling, but it is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Its fickle nature makes me curious. I want to flesh out time. To know what it means to me. To know what I will become because of it.

It’s hard to think I’ve lived a fourth of my life (well, if I’m lucky enough to hit the age of 80). It’s hard to think I’m not what society calls a child anymore, even when I still feel like one.

That’s why I’ve determined Time is a bastard. He doesn’t listen to me at all and just keeps going. Call me control freak, but sometimes I wish I could choose the kind of time I was having. If I could choose the type of time in any given moment, then I could probably make class so fun that I’d absorb every single part of it. Or I’d make time slow when I need to think of something to say in order to not make a fool of myself. But time tends to the opposite of what I wish. It does its own thing, continually humbling those who wish they could control it.

Enough of my ranting though. I’m kind of curious what people think of time. Feel free to post in the comments section about your own experience with time. J

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I’ve Started My Third Draft…

I’ve begun my third draft, but I won’t have to be doing it at NaNoWriMo pace anymore. 1,667 words a day is good for forcing words out of someone, but eventually the well of words run dry and even if you can wear the ‘I wrote 1,667 words’ emblem, it’ll all be clunk anyway.

        NaNoWriMo taught me I need to prepare some things first before going headfirst into writing.

    This lesson here might leave you baffled, because if organization and planning come naturally to you, then you’d be telling me ‘of course it is, how other way is there to do anything’?. I am not one of those people who know every folder in their file cabinets, mental and physical. I cannot simply have to extend and hand and the document needed is between their pinching fingers. I wish I was this person sometimes, I really do.

    But alas, I am a slob. There are not many days of the week you can enter my room without finding my things strewn carelessly and messily on the floor. And this sloppiness applies to my writing as well. Most days, I simply write with the wind and hope to hell it comes out decent. I’ve been fortunate enough to say that most of my pieces do in fact come out of the mind works rather decently after a bit of scraping off the rough edges. I can work a draft or two and get a decent grade in English class. This may seem infuriating to some people out there, I know. You may tell me that you have worked so hard, or that you have spent hours slaving over a keyboard and yet here I am doing nearly nothing and achieving. I understand that feeling as well as you. If there are people like me, you can bet your bottom dollar you can find people who can do it even better.

    However, it’s infuriating for me as well. I’ve used this process so long, that I don’t even know how to reach my potential anymore. After so many years of half-hearted effort, I’m not even sure how I could put my all into it. I don’t know how to squeeze the metaphorical water from the towel anymore. How many more hours must I spend or things I must do to make it the end result I want? The sad thing is, I don’t know.

    After all of these years, I just simply wanted to forget about my possible potential, since I don’t seem to be able to draw it out myself. But then I did NaNoWriMo. And there’s no way that after writing yourself to hell like that, that you can pull off a novel before thinking of any of your settings, or characters or plot, etc.

    A novel is too large a thing to fit seamlessly to memory. Perhaps if I had more file cabinets up there, or a larger attic, I could stuff it up there and hope to God I can still find the right information at the right time. But we all know that’s not possible, unless you have the memory of Sherlock Holmes. But again, alas, I don’t possess that proficiency at memorizing.

    So I’ve picked up the old writing program I used to have, Write It Now, and as dinky as it looks, I love it. It keeps all of my characters and events and references all in one place. It can take my word count and guestimate the age of my audience. It has files and places for me to put stuff into, digitally, so I am unable to lose it.

    I can only hope my third draft will emerge something much better than the second, because at the pace I was working at, I can almost surmise it was worse than my first… which is infuriating. Remind me to actually plan my novel out before trying to attempt that again.

    To those of you writing, write away! And good luck!

    

Relearning the Same Lessons (2013)

In 2013, I ended up (almost) finishing two drafts, very different drafts, of a story I’ve been thinking of for the longest time. First was the summer, which I was writing for a creative writing course, where I would write 2,000 words a week and so on. The second was NaNoWriMo, where I had to write 1,667 words per day. Both were difficult to achieve, but the fruits of me effort were evident.

I could visibly see myself improve between the drafts. Which is such a cool thing. To place in metaphor, the butterfly doesn’t see itself change into a butterfly within its cocoon, so seeing myself making a step, even a tiny step, closer to my goal of becoming a novelist was just… awesome.

I will admit, I have a long road ahead, trust me. My characters need more development, my setting needs more character, and the plot fell short to what I’ve come to expect from books. But you know what? It’s getting there. As slowly as I’m moving, I’m getting there. And it’s exciting.

Over the second draft, I realized something that reminded me of what my old saxophone teacher used to tell me. I remember the small room in the corner of that Music tutoring business, fumbling over the notes of Charlie Parker’s transcribed solos and thanking the lord there was carpet on the wall to muffle my sound from the others in the building. The thing about Charlie Parker is, he’s a beast a music. If you look at some of his solos, some of those pages are slathered in ink from all the complicated and quick rhythms. There’s 32nd notes and 64th notes at ridiculous speeds, and if you don’t know how fast those are, then think of the fastest piece of music you’ve heard and multiply that by a million. I fell short every practice because I obsessed about the rhythm. But I could not pack so many notes in the right rhythm with so little time.

My teacher, seeing my continuous struggle, stopped me and told me this: don’t worry about the technicalities, just get the ‘feel’ of it.

    What he was getting at is, it’s MUSIC, so let music be music. If all we needed from music was the right rhythm, we could get a robot to play it for us. We have to remember that it’s an art, as well as it is a product of rhythm. The same goes with writing. Yes, writing needs its connection with reality. But is it reality? Of course not.

This principle is most easily applied to fantasy, because one of the things that’s always hammered into the heads of students about fantasy is: it must be connected with reality. It’s used to help us recognize ourselves in a foreign world, so we can see ourselves. It also helps us begin to understand it. If there’s something from our own world to cling on to, you’ll be able to see the rest of the view. However, if you’ve ever read Tolkien or Narnia, you know these worlds are way different than our own. Yes, they’re based off of reality somewhere, but it’s MORE than the reality. The beauty of this new world becomes an art form, where the setting becomes a painting. A painting doesn’t need to have the correct perspective or lines to convey its message.

Writing needs its bits of reality, and characters need to be based on people and yada yada yada. That will always be true, no matter how you look at it. But will it always be a direct translation from reality? NO! Actually, novels would be so much more boring if they were. Since frankly, very few people live the action-packed, drama-filled lives that a novel portrays.

Writing is an art form. The characters, settings, plots, do not have to be direct links to reality. They can be made into the different colors of a painting. Although the scene is familiar, the light and colors might be changed to come more artistic. My novels lack that at the moment, because I was so afraid to just let my characters be more than just humans trapped in my head.

We’ve been snowed in.

    I wasn’t planning on reporting on the snowfall for my first post of the year, but it seems like the weather is trying to get my attention. I’ve been having to do a lot of travelling, and I am about to do some more… and it looks like I’m not in the most… desirable of locations. I’m already tired of the cold and I’m pretty sure I have four more months of this sitting in front of me.

    I’ll make the promise now. I’m going to live somewhere like Florida someday. Maybe California….

    Who am I kidding, I hate hot weather even more.

    It’s just hot weather doesn’t make precipitation that clumps up in the street like fat cumulus clouds, it doesn’t make cars slip and pizza places to scared to even have their delivery men go outside. I don’t like having to put on a coat every single time I want to go somewhere. I hate heavy boots hugging my ankles. The only thing that makes winter worth anything is Christmas or New Years, but then it’s just cold cold cold.

    And yet, I’ve lived in these conditions all my life. Why am I still bothered by them? Who knows.

    Sorry for such an uneventful post, but the snow was kind of getting on my nerves. I wish it would just get a life and melt already. Jeez.

    Next post will be about my New Year’s resolutions on writing, and what I learned last year. See you then!

It seems like a good day to play Christmas piano music

    You can shoot me all you want for calling it Christmas, it’s just the holiday I celebrate, and so that’s what I’ll call it. However, for all of you others, Happy Holidays! I do hope the holidays have been treating you well.

I’m smack dab in the middle of my exam week, but it’s the weekend, so I hope you’ll give me some mercy for writing a blog post. I just haven’t written one in a good long while, so I know I’ve probably dropped off a lot of people’s radars. That’s okay though, this is the Internet, there are many other voices and faces to find and listen to, so I’m good with that. I’m very thankful to the people I have, and I hope you know this, even in your daily lives. Thank you!

As I still do have exams to study for, I will make this quick, but I want to make a quick recommendation for some Christmas Music. David Lanz has a lovely Christmas album called Joy Noel, which really sent me into a day of retrospection. Piano music just seems to do that for me, it’s proven to be some of the only music that can move me to the point of tears. So, if any of you have Spotify or Itunes or something, I’d recommend finding this album and listening to it.

Feel free to comment as well! I’d love to hear some Holiday traditions people have out there, in the Interwebs. My family and I actually still do this tradition that we did in Iceland, which includes12 little elves/santas/goblins (not sure which they are… Icelandic folk tales are strange to me). So, from the 12th of December to Christmas, we receive little things in our stocking from these twelve different creatures. One of them is actually a black cat (which is interesting, seeing how we make black cats into unlucky creatures).

Hope to be able to pick up my regular blogging soon!

Blessings.

A Promise for December

Hello all,

I do apologize for being dead for the past few weeks. NaNoWriMo and the approaching college exams have swamped me. I’m really not even getting enough sleep these days, nonetheless maintaining a blog at the same time. However, I do promise, once NaNoWriMo has been finished, exams too, I’ll be back to enlighten you with awesomeness and more blog posts.

So I do hope you’ll forgive me for now. I love you all.

Blessings,

A.C. Rooks

Some quotes for NANOWRIMO

If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.
Samuel Johnson 

 

Creativity itself doesn’t care at all about results – the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless.
Elizabeth Gilbert 

“We always hope for the easy fix: the one simple change that will erase a problem in a stroke. But few things in life work this way. Instead, success requires making a hundred small steps go right – one after the other, no slipups, no goofs, everyone pitching in.” 
― Atul GawandeBetter: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance

 

“Amateurs look for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.” 
― Chuck Close

 

Keep going! :D We’re past the halfway point!