Thursday, October 20, 2016

And I'm back!

After fussing about my mental block for many months, I've finally found enough time and created enough brain juice to post another chapter for "The Only Exception". Since then, I've been thinking of my stories here and there. Alas, I simply don't have as much time to write as I used to. What a shame.

Meanwhile, it's also taking a toll on me to keep this blog running. If I want to keep writing reviews and stuff, that is. I guess I'll take it slowly and review my direction at the end of the year.


Oh, what fun. I'd much rather sit at the computer and type stories. However, adulthood is fast approaching me.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

What have I done with my 2016?

Adulthood hit me hard.

It hit me really hard.

It's that kind of fighter that starts by giving you a direct punch that catches you unaware - sending you across the fighting ring and onto the floor - and then continues to bash you badly even though you have admitted defeat.

Yes. That feeling.

Since I started my hiatus in September 2015, I went about the matters in my real life in much peace, knowing that I can focus on them, anticipating my time to write once those things were done.

Then, I "ended" my hiatus in February...

What happened?

Lots.

I thought I was prepared for life after marriage, but I guess I still overestimated it despite my mental preparation. I went through a lot of transition. A change of lifestyle, a change of church, a change of workload in my career, a change of many priorities, to be honest. Before you jump in and say things like, "Follow your passion!"... Work is work, but it is meaningful and it's something that I enjoy. It is something that I'm passionate about.

I have stopped a couple of things that I used to do before when I was single. I realised that my life (no joke) has to accomodate the schedule and life of another person. While that in itself is a joy, it all but strips away any time to write. The previous strategies of writing early in the morning no longer work for me.

Frustrating. I feel frustrated at how "well" I'm coping with my new life.

Am I writing? Not really, I'll be frank. Since my last update on "The Only Exception", I've written probably about 500 words. Nothing to be proud of. Let's not forget that my best friend, the writer's block, is still lingering around me. Plus, adulthood tugging at my heart, telling me to put fanfiction down for more urgent, more pressing... more... important... things.

Is this a path that everyone goes down eventually? Can't I write a proper story without worrying about compromising my work, family and spiritual life? And by the way, not that it has happened, but we have not even talked about the number one time-consuming commitment in any adult - CHILDREN.

When can I ever strike a balance?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Why no chapter update?

Aren't I already back from hiatus one month ago?

How can I upload anything if I have not been able to write anything?

Mental block is absolutely frustrating.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Being A Young Writer

No, I'm not referring to myself as a young writer. I truly believe that I am one of the older writers in the fanfiction-verse. I was referring to a fanfiction that I was reading recently. Um... at point of writing, it has been many months. I finished reading that fanfiction a few months back, before I went on hiatus.

I won't go into too much of history and dive straight into the topic. I came across this fanfiction and thought that the summary of the story was quite interesting, so I decided to read it. Nowadays, to be committed to a story takes a lot out of me, and I'm not referring to writing my stories. I'm talking about reading the fanfiction of others.

The story is about the protagonist who was thought of as weak and useless (quite in line with the canon storyline). He has a twin brother (original character) who was better than the protagonist in many ways, even though he is horrible. Unknown to many, the protagonist lives a dual-life. His alter ego is a master assassin.

Sounds interesting, no?

The author was thirteen at the point of writing. I must say... Wow. To write and get yourself published online... it takes a lot of guts. It took me a few months to write my first chapter (which is "Romeo and Juliet in Balamb Garden") and many more months after that to ask my friends to read them. And that was when I was 15.

It probably also meant that younger people are less aware of what they are actually publishing.

So as I'm reading this fanfiction, my brain began to go from, "I can't wait for this story to tell me what it's about!" to "O----kay. I'll give this story another chance for the next five chapters." to "What is really happening?"

I can't tell you how bad it is without spoiling the story content or revealing the title. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I was really bad at my first chapter too. Unfortunately, I threw away my old drafts in disgust. ("Romeo and Juliet in Balamb Garden" is updated about six years ago because I could not stand how bad it was.) So I'll never know. I don't want to know then anymore too!

I'm not here to tear bridges and make fun of fellow fanfic authors. However, I can, very vaguely, tell you what are some of the things that happened that I did not like in another post, another time. Today, that's not my agenda. In case you are wondering, I really did give reviews and I was honest with her about her writing, but not done harshly. I pointed out what could be strengthened and she (the humble, lovely person she is) willingly accepted my comments and thanked me for taking my time to give feedback. Wow. That's good attitude there. I could always be a more thankful writer to my readers so there's something commendable in her attitude :)

Being a young writer is really something to be proud of. In my country where writing is often met with groans and complaints from students, I feel excited to see someone who is into writing fiction. More so if the person is a young person. I hope that that young fanfic writer will meet more people who will help her to become a better writer.

It took me many years to improve my writing. Truth is, fanfiction.net is not exactly the best place to improve because everyone is nice and they won't be able to give feedback anything more than grammar. I am also guilty of the same thing too. I am bad at giving comments to improve my fellow writers. However, let's do our best to help each other. After all, we are all in this because we like writing. Let's not make this a horrible experience for anyone.

Okay. I need to sleep. My opinions are a little muddled up because of my fatigue.

Monday, February 1, 2016

First post of 2016! (plus the end of hiatus)

Dear all.

I'm back.

After four months of hiatus, I've finally returned to my blog and my fanfiction. Yes, my wedding went smoothly. I had a wonderful honeymoon (where I secretly gathered ideas for my stories, hehe) and I have started the new year without even greeting you all.

Happy new year!

Since the year started, it has been a rather tiring January. I had to adjust to the changes in my families and my workplace. Did I write during my hiatus? Not really. I dare say that in my four month hiatus, I probably wrote less than two hundred words.

Should you be worried? Of course not. Should I be worried. Oh yeah, definitely. I am quite afraid that my mental block will last forever. Will I find back my inspiration like how I did when I was in China? Then so much for my dream of writing full time. Almost every day, I would sit and stare at both "The Only Exception" and "Can I Stay By Your Side?". I would sit and read and read and think, but I'm always at loss for words.

What am I doing then? Well, you would laugh at me but I'm rereading "I Want To Be A Turk!" I want to find back the trigger to this 120++ chapter story. So far, I am starting to get my feeling back, but I'll need more than just feelings.

I just want to thank all the readers who have been wonderful even during hiatus. I still receive notifications for people following and favouriting my stories. The notifications always make my day brighter :)

Today, as I was doing work, the "Voices of the Lifestream" remix of Shinra's Theme played in my iPod and I cannot help but start wondering about Meia and the world that I've created. Is everyone okay? A part of me still toys with storylines and plot bunnies relating to "I Want To Be A Turk!" but should I, really???

Anyway, no more of this. It's time to do goal-setting! Before I do that, let's do a review of my 2015 goals! You can see my first post of 2015, but I'll summarise here.

1. Read lots of manga.
Done. I've read enough to make me happy. It's really time to focus on writing again.

2. Write fanfiction outside FF7.
Done that too. I've started a fanfiction on Katekyo Hitman Reborn called "Can I Stay By Your Side?" and I'm getting pretty good reviews... I think.

3. Brainstorm on original YA fiction.
Well, I did brainstorm. Did I have ideas? Some. Did any of them form into anything substantial? No.

4. Create stories for children.
Ahhh, this one, I didn't. I have some ideas but again, none of my ideas became anything substantial.

Not a bad year for writing actually. Here are my writing goals for 2016.

1. Finish "The Only Exception"
I'm almost done, so I gotta pull through.

2. Start on another FF7 story
That's the easy part. The difficult part is... which plot bunny should I use??

3. Continue to brainstorm YA fiction.
Publishing this will not be the key for the next few years, but I want to work on the idea until it becomes something... unique. Well, uncommon at best.

4. Create stories for children.
I still want to do this. So I shall.

5. Publish at least 5 book reviews.
My real goal is 10, but I shall not push my luck. 5 first :)

And so, my 2016 goals are set. I wish all of you a happy new year once again and see you in fanfiction soon!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

What I've Been Up To (Oct 2015)

Well, my "The Only Exception" readers may not know this but my "Can I Stay By Your Side" readers would know. I have put myself on a writing hiatus. As quoted from the recent chapter of "Can I Stay By Your Side", there are "major changes in my life" and some time is needed for me to adapt to my normal lifestyle.

I did not really mention what they were on fanfiction.net (for obvious reasons), but I can say them here, of course. So here's what I've been up to:

1. Wedding.
Yup, I'm preparing for my wedding. If that's not reason enough, I don't know what else it can be. Funny thing is, I kinda thought my preparations were scaled down. Yet, the amount of things to do and the amount of people to bug me to stop procrastinating... *sigh*

So after the wedding in mid-November, I'll head off for my honeymoon and will only be back in mid-December. Thus the need for a long hiatus.

2. Work
Bah, this is always what I'm doing. Next.

3. Manga
I'm still enjoying my time with the wonderful Japanese stories out there and I have not had my fill yet. Thus... *gestures at the pile of my own unwritten stories*

4. Games
Not only am I playing some random game on my ipad, I'm watching the Kingdom Hearts playthrough on Youtube. It took me the longest time to get around it but I'm finally doing it. By the way, I'm watching the original and not the Final Mix (because I wanted to).

As you can see, my priorities have shifted again. And since my announcement of hiatus, I really... really haven't written much. Probably less than a hundred words for the last two months or so. Mental block is really killing me here *slumps*

Thursday, October 15, 2015

4 years!

Wow. Look at that.

It's been 4 years since I've started this blog. My original idea was just to have some kind of place for me to go on and on because I realised that I was talking too much on fanfiction.net. And now, my little blog has exploded to something of a whole cauldron of book reviews, writing experiences and chapter notes.

Writing to an invisible (and probably non-existent, heheh) Internet audience, reading and recording my thoughts of each book that I read (how else do you think I can create my reviews after such a long time?) and penning down the various thoughts I have whenever I write another fanfiction title... these are all things that I treasure very much and I am glad that I have started this blog. One day, even if I were to stop writing altogether, I have this little thing to remind me of what I was once passionate for.

Hey, let's not get paranoid here... I'm still writing. Well, trying to write amdist my busy-ness. No one is saying that I'm not writing for good.

Whether anyone is reading this, I just want to thank you, my fanfiction readers, for keeping me going for such a long time.