End of an Era

Hello lovelies! I apologize for my absence, I was too busy NOT BEING IN HIGH SCHOOL ANYMORE!

For this week’s post, I had honestly been struggling on what to write. So much has happened so quickly and now it’s all over. I have nothing. No real obligations, no true responsibilities. There’s a lot of emptiness when eras end and I think this three month period will be one of the few times in my life I’ll feel this way and have it be true.

Being alive right now is a delirium inducing experience. It’s not just graduating that’s throwing me. Everything outside of myself has been improbable too. Nothing is making any sense. Nothing feels real. I’m used to being disconnected from myself, but I’ve never been this disconnected from reality.

For the past two years, I’ve thought very deeply and analytically about the “senior experience.” I haven’t been able to stop writing about it (all of my most recent projects have related to the subject). This period is such a strange time and yet all the same, I’ve never felt more connected and disconnected from people and the world than this year. I think that’s really special. It’s not likely that they’ll be another time in my life that I’ll feel this way.

Right now, I’m struggling with distancing myself from it all. I haven’t been well connected to myself for a very long time, so I’ve decided to step back a little in hopes of returning. I’m not sure if it’s the best move, but at this point it doesn’t really matter what’s a good move.

What I can say in this moment is that I’m glad that it’s over. I’m ready to leave theses varying versions of myself and meet the more improved versions of myself moving forward. All I have right now is forward. If I stop looking forward too long, I can feel myself falling into an abyss.

But hey, we did it Class of 2019. Now it’s time to make moves and kill it for 2023.

Did you hate reading that last bit as much as I hated writing it? I doubt it. I highly doubt it, lovely. I promise you next week we’ll get back to longer posts with lots of goodness. But for now I’ll leave you with this: trust the process. Even when you can’t see it. Trust the process.

Advertisements

I Still Don’t Understand Self Care

Mug aspiration

Self care and I have had a very tumultuous relationship considering how unacquainted I am with it. I consider the dynamic to be one of the many curses of being alive in the age of the internet and all its glory; in an effort to curb the mental health problems social media has managed to flare up in all of us, we’ve created a movement around self care, coping, and self improvement.

I’m no stranger to the phenomenon by any means. If you read far enough into this blogs archive, I’m sure there’s plenty of posts entirely centered around growth. But if there’s one aspect of mental maintenance I have yet to achieve, it is taking care of myself in a way that prevents a biweekly mental breakdown.

I’ve tried to find coping mechanisms that resemble self care. Last year I got really into kombucha in an attempt to be healthy. About once a year I have a two week long meditation period resulting in little to know success in long term commitment. I used to write a poem every night to purge away all the bad, unhealthy emotions in me. My existential crisis blog that I reference in every other bloggy style post was the direct result of me trying to compartmentalize my feelings of hopelessness and despair. And yet in the end nothing sticks for long, leaving me to learn a new toolbox for every oncoming crisis I have.

Having discussed my misguided view with some friends along with the soft nudge to get myself together before I go to university in the fall, I’ve decided that instead of avoiding my feelings with copious amounts of tea drinking that I’d begin investing my time in me. I come from a household built on the back of reckless sacrifice of health and sanity, and I’d personally like to break that pattern for myself. Beginning to work on my own things instead of always doing something to give to someone else might’ve saved me from wanting to defenestrate myself. While technically I am working, it’s a less frenzied job by comparison to doing another Statistics assignment.

While this helps, traditional self care has never enticed me. Self care seemed to be only for the beautiful. But as I literally begin to fall asleep while trying to finish this piece instead of sleeping ten hours before I have to rise early, I think I’ll just have to face the music and fulfill basic necessities.


Okay, after seven hours of dreaming and attempting to finish this before more early morning shopping, I’ve concluded that my aversion to self care is entirely because of stress. IfI wasn’t anxious I wouldn’t work not to be. If I never got sad I’d be comfortable. I’ve managed to teach myself that suffering is equal to success. That is not true! Reader, that is not true! From here until the end of the year (which is Wednesday) I’m forcing myself to chill instead of adding discomfort to my life. I think after four years I deserve to have a good time.

What a brain journey you’ve accompanied me on! I’m sure we’ll have more of them next week. This post actually goes with I video I did that you can see here.

27.4.19_10:54PM.docx

some ambience to contrast the mood

It’s 10:25 and I’m writing on the wrong day of the week. I can feel the ticking time bomb on my back, the click getting louder and louder. Emotionally I’m all over the place—angry, sad, calm, anxious, tired, hurt, and relieved. It’s become a porous ball of internal screaming because for whatever reason I can’t keep straight all the shit I’ve been tasked to put my energy into (which is so much harder for me without my contacts in.)

When I write, I usually listen to music to find the ambience. Today I’m listening to the deep sleep playlist, because all of the playlists I had carefully curated months ago make me want to ram my head into a wall. Not always. Just today, the day I can’t see well, the day I spent eight hours staring at various colors moving across my laptop screen in an attempt for productivity, the day I tried to fill out more scholarships while begging for letters, the day I committed to LMU.

I can’t drive around complacently anymore. My eyes hungrily take in the scenery that will soon be ripped away from me, replaced with the pageantry of palm trees. My heart aches to soon leave the mind numbing familiarity of these roads that ebb and flow with traffic and mile long hills. A year ago I knew I needed to leave my home city. Nowadays the point still remains, but not without an undertone of anxiety.

I’ve been imagining myself dying a lot? Not always literally. Sometimes I imagine what people whisper between themselves when the passing thought of my existence reaches them. Sometimes I imagine the people I know in passing growing older, experiencing new things without my wandering eye to observe it. Sometimes I imagine my car flipping onto its head with a satisfying crunch as my body curls against all will with it.

My brain can’t handle being myself at the moment. When things become too much I can feel my subconscious run away into a different dimension just ever so slightly adjacent to my reality. It’s trippy and makes me feel awful and disconnected from people. I need people. I don’t need interaction. But I need to see and feel people being themselves around me.

I’ve been avoiding my people. Not always purposely. I can feel myself barely balancing the line of being distant and being an asshole. The closer the end is, the more I feel I understand you and I wish I could’ve done more. I wish I would’v been there for you even more. Retrospect will always be a bitter teacher.


a continuation of this post.

Unsolicited Advice

time for today’s tea….

It’s almost May and frankly, thank Jehovah. I’ve reached the end of the road. It’s difficult to function and I’m running on low battery these days, but! Freedom is near. With that in mind, I thought it’d be nice to reflect on what I’ve learned over these past few years I’ve been stuck in this institution and pass it on to you my dear reader! Because trust me, you will never be too young or too old to improve yourself, even if it takes hearing the same thing over again. Let’s jump into it, shall we?

  1. Fucking apply to places that don’t have obscene application fees. I’m dead serious. All the places with applications over $40 probably automatically admit anyone who has alumni connections or money. Unless it’s YOUR dream to go there, don’t pay to pat your ego on the back.
  2. Talk to anyone you find mildly interesting. Talk to your friends, talk to that guy with the cool style, that girl that’s really into crocheting during Pre-Calc. The world is dark and the only light that comes from it is when people connect.
  3. Begin to understand the world around you. I know you might hate politics but the political systems of the world greatly effect your future. You’ll be surprised how much that knowledge can be weaponized for change once you can drive down to city hall and protest.
  4. Come to school the first two years. After that you can gauge how much you can get away with to skip class time. If you get more things done at home go home. If you need to be in school to focus your time, show up. Everyone’s different.
  5. You’re not better than the rest of your grade just because you’re an AP kid. You’re not a marvel because you also make time for sports and student council. Some people still haven’t figured this out and I imagine it’s a harrowing existence.
  6. Don’t cheat. Don’t cheat on tests, or in class essays. Don’t cheat on things you can fix for points later. Do collaborate with your peers. Do ask for help. Do attempt to understand the material. The worst thing that can happen is failing. Then you get back up and keep going.
  7. Know your friends. Know who you smile at in the hallways. Know who you can sit with in classes and avoid at lunch. Know who you can always ask to hang out last minute. More than anything, know who you can talk to about when you feel like you have no one left.
  8. Talk to upperclassmen. Talk to underclassmen. We’re all the same, just at different stages. Just remember your place in the hierarchy.
  9. Get involved. Even in what you might hate. You’ll be surprised what skills and connections come in handy later.
  10. Keep a journal, keep a blog, keep a finsta, keep something to gather all the memories and heartaches. Take so many pictures—good ones, bad ones, even blurry ones. Even in a a few months you’ll be surprised by how changed you feel.
  11. Don’t procrastinate unless it’s proactive procrastination—do the easy things first and work your way up. If it’s an easy, think about the prompt and your points then work your way to making a quick outline. Writing will go much faster.
  12. Drop classes if they don’t work for you. I don’t care if it’s AP, I don’t care if you think you have to take it, because you probably don’t. There is a point in your schooling where no matter how much work you put in, the pay out will simply not be worth it. Know that limit for yourself.
  13. Switch teachers if you need to. Not if you want the ‘cool’ teacher. Switch to save your learning because the teachers you think are awful at their job aren’t concerned with improving anytime in the next few months.
  14. Don’t take 5 AP classes. Don’t take none. 3 is a happy middle. You’ll survive.
  15. Counterpoint to 14: if you’re fighting for college credit so you can graduate early from high school and college, take all the college level courses you can, see if local community colleges will give you credit, get testing credit, and take those summer classes to open up your schedule. Just do what works for you.
  16. Don’t worry about how other’s see you. Everyone’s to busy thinking about their own story to pay attention.
  17. Don’t be an asshole for no reason. Don’t be a snake. Don’t be fake with people you don’t like just because. Try to stay genuine. You’re only hurting yourself if you don’t.
  18. You don’t have to interact with people you don’t like. But when you do, be colloquial.
  19. Don’t attack people you haven’t spoken to for more than 5 minutes since middle school. People change.
  20. Senior pranks are pointless: they’re either lame or illegal.
  21. Sophomore year will probably be the best year of your high school life. And this is coming from someone who wanted to die the whole time.
  22. You don’t need a friend group. You honestly don’t need more than five close friends at once. If you literally only have one really good friend, you’re set dude.
  23. Don’t be scared to express yourself just because you feel like people will think you’re weird. Weird is good. Weird can make money. Weird sets standards. Embracing weirdness is a fucking power move if done well.
  24. If you go through a period of depression or anxiety, ask for help. It doesn’t matter the cause. Sometimes there’s no cause. But you have to reach out in whatever way works for you. No one will look down on you. People like helping people more than we give people credit for.
  25. This one’s super important guys. You do you boo. You do you. Don’t give a shut about what anyone else is doing. Everyone’s faking their way through life. Nobody has their shit together. So you’ve gotta do what’s best for you.

That’s all the unsolicited advice I’m willing to give away, dearies. Tell me which ones you think hold the most true for you, because I’m curious to know. I feel like I’ve learned more about the best ways to be a human by observing my peers than by just going about my life. I admire people as much as I despise them. What a beautiful thing.

I’ll see you next week y’all!

The Dying Porch

I’m sitting on my decrepit porch, spray painting mundane items gold. Frankly, I couldn’t have come up with a better metaphor for life myself. Even as I feel the sleep take over my eyes and pull my limbs down towards the Earth’s center, I still eat up how the sunset catches the tips of the trees across the street, the same trees I’ve avoided for years in hopes that those neighbors won’t waste their lousy breath to acknowledge my rare presence outdoors.

I let the lazy chirps of birds run in and out of my ears, let the scurry of teeny ant legs move beneath my calves. I watch the cars swerve into driveways as everyone comes home at once. Sometimes I recognize faces (like Ziba’s kids), sometimes just the sound (like the loud ass motorbikes 3 doors down). On this decaying porch, new and old collide as the world I’ve stayed in for most of my life continues to shift around me. Sometimes I go crazy with how much I’ll miss it. But when I sit alone in my bedroom, there’s never as much to miss.

Semi-Annual Existential Crisis

About once or twice a year, I slip into a deep abyss of existential despair. This has been happening since second semester freshman year, usually timing around mid February and then again in late June. Each year the topic of crisis evolves to fit my life situation, almost like a sadistic Pokemon. While I could reflect deeply over the past few years of crisis, there’s a whole separate blog from one I was in the thick of it which I think hints very effectively into where I was struggling. Still, I’ll give you a quick run down to bring you up to date.

Freshman year my crisis centered around morality and what it meant to be a good person. It’s easy to doubt the legitimacy of good and evil when you can’t see the good in yourself. Sophomore year focused around the meaning of life, what it meant to be a person, and whether or not we had true freedom. I was also heavily depressed and needed a way to sift through the dense feeling of confusion and hopelessness that surrounded me until later in the school year. Junior year was “what’s the point?” part 1, effectively timed around the point of the school year that I’d randomly combust into tears because of how much stress I was under. Then the summer before my senior year, I had the epiphany that I did have a little control over my own happiness and sense of fulfillment, so I managed to dodge the midsummer crisis.

But that’s where I fucked up. Agency is a double-edged sword—yielded well it can give you the power to be bold and demand things for yourself. Used recklessly you slowly become insane with apathetic rage.

This winter’s crisis brought on “what’s the point?” part 2. It was a distinctively slow spiral kicked off by lord knows what, but it definitely lead to me crying over a Lana Del Rey song at 7 PM on a Saturday night. So I’ve spent the past week trying to inadvertently answer the question. Because frankly, with only nine weeks left until I have to face the music of ‘free will,’ everything up until I get to that point feels like a waste of my precious time. It’s like I’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness that’s going to take me away from anything I’ve ever known in two months and everyone’s like “Aw, that sucks. Anyway, so I need you to dedicate half of the time you have left to learning how to run a z-test.”

It helps to think about how I wanna grow, the type of person I want to be in the next week, month, year or so. I keep falling back into people that have inspired me over the years to find hope that whatever this is will get better. It helps to talk to my peers too, even people who aren’t in this exact state, because based on two seconds of deeper conversation everyone’s barely holding it together. It also helps to do things just because. I’ve been making all sorts of stuff no one asked for because sometimes that’s just what you have to do.

I’ve also been listening to music that ranges between rage rap and lazy indie. I’ve become especially invested in watching music videos (because binge-watching sitcoms doesn’t fill the whole of emptiness quite right anymore). It’s weirdly inspiring. It reminds me of why I started making stuff instead getting into things like building little robots, or doing little science experiments. Music speaks to me in a way other things never could. And then the visuals! I can’t put into words the euphoria a well done video can provide! There’s just something so interesting to me about how quickly you can translate a story or a feeling in three to five minutes.

I’ve always looked up to musicians. I’m not entirely sure why. I don’t have the skills to produce anything on my own, and while my poetry skills are stronger than average, songwriting is a completely different muscle. Also, the idea of making music paralyzes me.

I think the main reason why most of my role models are musicians isn’t so much because of what they do, but why and how they do it. I’ve spoken about my appreciation for Michael Jackson and Tyler Joseph before, but there are so many others. And frankly, they all have one trait in common—resilience. And that’s one trait I fear I might not possess. The greatest and most fulfilled artist in my opinion don’t rise to fame within a few years after starting, nor do they snap as soon as their following begins to turn against them. They keep working on their craft as if the only thing keeping them alive is rhythm and song. and for some of them, that becomes the reality.

I appreciate the drive to remain authentic, the drive to innovate, and the overall drive to remain true to their vision. It’s a trait I try to internalize but man am I shit at it. I think the main issue comes from the fact that I’ve never really had my own true vision for myself. I have tons of ideas. I have so many thoughts and feelings (obviously if you followed the writing on this blog even vaguely). But I still feel uncomfortable sharing them. That level vulnerability was so overwhelming that I wasn’t able to be vulnerable enough to myself to even consider what I might’ve envisioned for myself over the years. This winter’s crisis began to squeeze it out of me, all the crap that was weighing over my subconscious.

But that seems to always be the lesson. Fight to be seen, to be heard. Don’t remain silent and complicit. Keep moving forward, in whatever way that may be, for as long as it takes. So I’ll keep going and I’ll keep trying, even if every fiber of my being is screaming at me that it’s all pointless in the end. All I can do is hope that one day I’ll wake and think to myself, “What’s the point?” only to quickly respond, “Who fucking cares.”

Writing about Writing

I love a nice question tag and I found one about writing that’d be nice to do while I avoid writing.


1. Tell us about your WIP!

Or Writing In Progress. I have several going all at the same time (mistake number one). I have two scripts going, one for a school capstone project that’s a parody of The Office. The other is a show about a group of six seniors trying their best make it through the year, but I think I’ll have to work on that one for years before it gets where it needs to be.

I’m also in the middle of finishing a short story for my creative writing class. It’s just about a girl who’s alternate universe twin completely takes over her life without anyone noticing. It’s due Tuesday morning and I’m only halfway through it as of Sunday night. Can you tell that I’m internally screaming?

I also have a bunch of smaller pieces that I’m doing half for myself and half upon request. Leave it up to me to create more work for myself. And I have a ton of ideas I can’t work on right now. *sigh*

2. Where is your favorite place to write?

My room is always good, but I can pretty much write anywhere as long as I have my headphones and high quality tunes.

3. What is your favorite/least favorite part about writing?

My favorite part of writing is when a joke of an idea becomes something really good. Some of my best works are from jokes between my friends or ideas I think would be really funny to be writing about. Agneau is a story about a cult that started as a school project. Self Titled is about a group of kids that like to pretend the rule a communist utopia. One of my best poems is about me not wanting kids. Objectively, that shit’s kind of funny.

My least favorite part is dialogue. I’m very poetic naturally, so it takes a certain mindset for me to find the rhythm that occurs naturally in conversation and to avoid having my characters sound like me.

4. Do you have any writing habits/rituals?

I always listen to music that is either soothing or fits the vibe of what I’m writing. If I’m trying to focus and get shit done, I get some tea with me or a bottle of water. If I’m just spitballing I write it down in a journal. If I’m planning to use it at some point, I type it. I really hate transcribing stuff.

5. Top five formative books?

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

We Must Look Up by Tommy Wallach

Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobosky

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

…in no particular order of course.

6. Favorite character you’ve written?

To preface, I’m partial to my male characters, just because for me they take more effort to solidify and not just use as plot tools. I love all of my characters pretty equally, but Joshua from Agneau is my favorite just because he took so much time just to formulate. In my head, Agneau’s final product would be in almost a “narrative biography” style meaning that the story would be completely centered around Joshua’s life as the son of a cult leader. It wouldn’t be chronological at all except for the first and last chapter too, so it was very important that Joshua’s character development was mapped out before I even started writing anything, and I’m very satisfied with it.

7. Favorite/most inspirational book?

All The Bright Places will always have a place in my heart just because I read it during a time I needed it the most.

8. Do you have any writing buddies or critique partners?

Not really, but I’d like to. I usually have close friends of mine read my work if I can’t screen it anymore because I’ve seen it too much. Most of the time I’m able to strip things down while also being reasonable for the most part.

9. Favorite/least favorite tropes?

I’m a sucker for the opposite worlds collide trope. It’s really hard to mess that one up and I think you can always do a new variation on it. I hate any story that implies that a character has to be fixed by someone. That’s stupid. People don’t do that. It just doesn’t happen.

10. Pick an author (or writing friend) to co-write a book with

I’ve been pitching to write with my friend Lauren for awhile now, but we’re both pretty chaotic at the moment. Otherwise, I can’t think of anything I’d want to be cowriting right now.

11. What are you planning to work on next?

I want to work on my short film script so bad but I don’t havre the time! It’s called Sugar and I had to drop it at the end of last school year because junior wouldn’t let me keep working on it if I didn’t feel like failing. Now I think I’ve finally worked through the burn out but I don’t have the time until 2019. Love. That. For. Me.

12. Which story of yours do you like best? why?

Agneau’s my favorite. It’s probably my best writing after Self-Titled.

13. Describe your writing process

First I have a morsel of a concept. Then I start to come up with moodboards/aesthetics for it to help me find the tone. Next I create a playlist to solidify the tone if it’s a bigger project. Then I draft something if it’s short prose or a poem. If it’s longer I start outlining the plot and daydream about it for weeks before writing anything.

Usually when I’m writing a draft I write for like a paragraph or two before getting distracted for ten minutes and then going back and editing what I’ve written before continuing. Not effective, but it does the job.

14. What does it take for you to be ready to write a book? (i.e. do you research? outline? make a playlist or pinterest board? wing it?)

I have to do a playlist for bigger projects, there isn’t another option. If it’s a topic I’m not already familiar with, I research based on my outline. I also do a few character questionnaires for the main characters so I can record all the info I know about them, even if it never directly comes up. It’s crazy helpful.

15. How do you deal with self-doubt when writing?

To preface, I write fanfic too (that’s how I started writing on my own in the first place) so there’s a strong contrast. When I’m writing my own thing, I usually have no idea if it’ll ever come out publicly or not so there’s less internal doubt. It becomes more like a  “oh this isn’t working right now, so I’m gonna set it to the side and come back later to fix it.

Right now I’m actively avoiding three prompt requests because disappointing people is on the line. The self doubt is REAL fam.

16. Cover love/dream covers?

Here are some of my favorite book covers I’ve seen:

 

I love making covers for my stories but I can’t do digital art the same way so it’d be cool to find and artist to collaborate with.

17. What things (scenes/topics/character types) are you most comfortable writing?

I write about the suburbs a lot (I wonder why), and I find it easier to write about adolescents. I think writing characters around that age doesn’t really have to do with the fact that I’m that age, because I’ve always done that. I think it’s more because I can play more freely with the duality in childhood and adulthood without the character being considered strange or unnatural.

Teens are also more likely to make dumb decisions.

18. Tell us about that one book you’ll never let anyone read

Grapes of Wrath? I don’t think it needs explanation.

19. How do you cope with writer’s block?

I’ve learned to just purge write, even if it feels like all my ideas suck. The reality is that writing isn’t easy. If you want to write something, it’ll be more like pulling teeth than picking flowers. Sometimes you have to just get through the shitty first draft.

My issue is just writing anxiety.

20. Any advice for young writers/advice you wish someone would have given you early on?

Keep a journal! Write everything and anything you want. You want to try poetry? Write some sick poems. You want to write a trilogy about wizards? I’ll be happy to see it when you do. You can write literally whatever you want, you just have to put in the time. Also, don’t be afraid to write what you know or write about yourself.

21. What aspect of your writing are you most proud of?

I’m really good at description and inner monologue for my characters.

22. Tell us about the books on your “to write” list

I’ve already sort of explain Agneau and Self-Titled. I can go more into movies and shows I want to write. I want to write a feature length film based off the album Melodrama. Instead of it just being about a break up, it’s about a group of four girls helping one their friends recover from a bad relationship while at a house party. The whole story runs of the course of one night.

My other idea is based off Paramore’s back story to writing the album After Laughter. That’s all I’m gonna say for now.

23. Most anticipated upcoming books?

Spoiler alert: I’m not a big reader right now. I don’t have the time or energy to eat food, let alone enjoy a good book outside of classwork. I’ve also never been good about being active in the literary scene. The only art scene I have followed closely is music, and I still don’t follow the mainstream really well.

24. Do you remember the moment you decided to become a writer/author?

I don’t remember a moment. I remember carrying around a tattered blue composition book and writing out the beginning of a novel whenever there was down time in class. That was in the sixth grade, and I still have it.

25. What’s your worldbuilding process like?

I keep it all in one notebook or folder on a flash drive. I collect photos and write notes about rules, authority figures, maps, main characters in the story and they’re role in that society. I don’t have to world build often since I write realistic fiction most of the time.

26. What’s the most research you’ve ever put into a book?

Agneau. I spent a month reading about cults and cult behavior.

27. Every writer’s least favorite question – where does your inspiration come from? Do you do certain things to make yourself more inspired? Is it easy for you to come up with story ideas?

I wouldn’t say it’s easy for me to come up with story ideas. I’m just really receptive to ideas coming my way. I get inspiration from songs all the time, whether it’s lyrics or just the sound. Pictures can give me ideas. Funny or strange phrases. Concepts that hit me randomly or ideas that have been occupying my headspace (hence my bloggy posts). People. I’m blessed to be surrounded by interesting characters that are just begging to wiggle themselves into my imaginative space.

When I write based on people, I’m not always trying to express my perspective on them or scenarios or anything like that. My last poem was based on a persona and an emotion and visual I wanted to attach to them. Who’s to say if it was real or not?

Also I’m a Maladaptive Daydreamer, so all my idea grabbing tendencies revolve around that compulsion.

28. How do you stay focused on your own work and how do you deal with comparison?

I’ve developed a distinct writing style, so trying to compare myself to other writing styles I admire would be like comparing apples and grapefruit. I also know that other styles that I admire just hold things I can learn from and adapt into my own thing later.

29. Is writing more of a hobby or do you write with the intention of getting published?

I always write to publish. I just don’t publish everything I write.

30. Do you like to read books similar to your project while you’re drafting or do you stick to non-fiction/un-similar works?

We’ve addressed that I haven’t been reading. But when I do , it’s rare that it

31. Top five favorite books in your genre?

Refer to Number 5.

32. On average how much do you write in a day? do you have trouble staying focused/getting the word count in?

I can write up to a thousand words (4-5 pages double spaced) in one sitting. I’m working on upping my writing stamina at the moment. I’m getting more consistent about reaching over 2000 in two hours if I just don’t stop.

33. What’s your revision/rewriting process like?

After I’ve written, I usually do a quick read over to fix anything that doesn’t line up with where I ended (I don’t plan plot/outline essays). Then if it’s a more important work that’s up for publishing or competition I wait a little bit until I can look back through it with fresh eyes and work sentences or dialogue.

34. Unpopular writing thoughts/opinions?

Plot planning isn’t that important unless you’re world building. The classic story structure (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution) or the three-act structure creates bland stories. And finally, writing isn’t a talent—writing is a skill anyone can workshop with time, patience, and dedication.

35. Post the last sentence you wrote

A large gust of wind pushed him gently from behind until he was flying—flying from oblivion, flying from his destiny and falling into goodness and truth.

36. Post a snippet

He rose from the cracked wood of their kitchen table, black sleeping gown hanging loosely from his skeletal frame. He had lost weight over the moon cycle as well despite his mother’s best efforts. His usual pinafore and black dress shirt had grown baggy, and his hair was beginning to fall out in his sleep.

He feet moved sloppily around his bedroom, moving to his vanity mirror desk that held the family emblem. He placed the gold finch around his neck, the bird rusted and hanging farther down his chest than it used to be. He looked up at the old TV he used to watch when he was younger, his hands grazing the empty sides of the bench on each side of him. On the right side sat blond locks and a devilish grin and the left the only angel the Community had ever seen.

The blood had not been scrubbed off of his bedroom floor. It trailed like a path out of the small space and out the door of the Family home, only ceasing at the dark ash circle staining the dusty earth in the middle of the Community grounds.

Joshua did not speak anymore. He would only trace the same word over and over, leaving the sightless mark on his arm, on his stomach, in the air.

37. Do you ever write long handed or do you prefer to type everything?

I only free write in long hand just because I share a lot of what I write. I don’t really have a preference, it’s just that my handwriting is messy and hard to read.

38. How do you nail voice in your books?

 I can see and hear all of my characters outside of writing them. As far as advice goes, you shouldn’t be forcing words into a character’s mouth, they should be controlling the words that go on the page. Liste to your gut. You know if Becky should or shouldn’t be saying “sup brah” or not.

39. Do you spend a lot of time analyzing and studying the work of authors you admire?

Not really? Whenever I read, I pick up on writing style since I’m not great with skimming. I pick up skills in weird places. My poetry writing improved when I became obsessed with Lorde’s lyrics in Pure Heroine and then got really involved with Twenty One Pilots music. My world building improved by reading fan fiction. The dialogue and dynamic for the series I’m writing was strongly influenced by the dynamic on New Girl. You can learn from literally anything as long as it’s authentic and not copying.

40. Do you look up to any of your writer buddies?

A little bit but not really. It goes back to the comparison thing.

41. Are there any books you feel have shaped you as a writer?

No.

42. How many drafts do you usually write before you feel satisfied?

For scripts 5000. For poetry about 3. For prose probably 2.

43. How do you deal with rejection?

I shrug it off at this point. I’m not for everyone, and in our society rejection feels liberating for me. It’s better than people tiptoeing around my feelings.

44. Why (and when) did you decide to become a writer?

I started writing on my own accord in the sixth grade because I wanted to  transcribe the characters that occupied my brain. When you’re in middle school you’re interests become your identity.

45. First or third person?

Third! I love writing narrative and omniscient. You can have a lot of fun with detached narrators.

46. Past or present tense?

Past. I have a tendency to use too many verbs in present tense.

47. Single or dual/multi POV?

Single. Multiple POVs rarely come off not try-hardish. It’s too much of a shitty YA move at this point.

48. Do you prefer to write skimpy drafts and flesh them out later, or write too much and cut it back?

always write too much and have to cut back. I write like a poet.

49. Favorite fictional world?

How about the real one? I’m joking, sort of. I like when writers balance our reality with a fantasy aspect (magical realism).

50. Do you share your rough drafts or do you wait until everything is all polished?

This blog is all of my semi-rough drafts.

51. Are you a secretive writer or do you talk with your friends about your books?

I stay not talking about my writing with the important people in my life. The only person I tell about my writing is my friend Lauren, but we always talk about our characters.

52. Who do you write for?

Myself sort of. I like writing for people like me who just want to see authentic characters have their story shared. I also write more towards young people because I think that’s the demographic who needs me to writ the most.

53. What is the first line of your WIP?

N/A

54. Favorite first line/opening you’ve written?

He always felt jittery entering the library, like he was eating from the tree of good and evil, letting the bittersweet juices from the apple of wisdom dribble down his chin.

55. How do you manage your time/make time for writing? (do you set aside time to write every day or do you only write when you have a lot of free time?)

I write during my creative writing class, but usually it’s just when I have any sit down time.

I miss being the passenger;

I miss the lack of responsibility.

I miss the lack of pressure and stress 

of going twenty, forty, sixty, 

the low rumble of tires tearing up 

and spitting out miles of road.

 

I miss sitting and sinking into leather seats 

with their warm, salty smell,

letting the engine heat

pull me deeper into a passenger’s sleep.

I miss the idle chatter of on-the-go phone calls

and the quiet soundtrack of radio hits.

I miss the simplicity of being 

a passenger.

The First Fall

I’ve stuffed my foot in between couch cushions

to keep warm and steady

while you rest against my knee.

I can feel your chest rise and fall softly

as you look up at me,

dark shiny eyes swimming

in the pool of my subconscious.

 

Subtle tremors ripple through my fingers.

I try to demand my breath to even

while my eyes drift away

towards the television screen,

letting the whirls of color pull me

from the constriction in my chest.

 

But those eyes

began to simmer across my cheeks,

pulling me back in

and greeting me with a soft smile.

 

I lower the barrier of my leg,

clearing my throat confidently,

playing with buttons

and nervous laughter

until the music hits—slow and sultry,

inviting and warm,

teasing and seductive.

I hold onto my breath

and choke out spurts of commentary

 

until my voice ceases,

your gaze grasping it gently

and setting it back in my chest.

I can’t look away now,

not now when my eyes finally see you

in all your gentle glory.

Your nose slopes down

like a quiet waterfall

and your cheekbones dip

like countryside hills in the spring.

And then we’re closer.

 

The tides of melody pull us closer

and I can watch you more curiously.

Shadow covers your face when our foreheads touch

and I see your dark eyes twinkle.

Glee or mischief,

maybe anguish or fear.

I choose anguish as you fall into my lap

and I collapse on your back.

I beg you to listen to me

and not my lips that remain tightly sealed,

to feel the nervous and angry beats of my caged heart.

And so

 

you rise again a fiery phoenix

and we find ourselves connected.

Our breathing shallowed and sinked

and your head tilted.

A hesitance, a falter, and then

collapse—

gentle and surprised but

always gentle.