Posted in Uncategorized

Real-time update

Hey there!  This is present-day Allison writing to you on 10/8/2017, for reals.

I have a small buffer of scheduled posts waiting to go up until approximately the end of this month.  Truth be told, this blog has been running on scheduled posts since the spring.  With my current schedule, I simply don’t have time to post things consistently in what I call real-time.

While I haven’t been terribly productive in the writing department, I have been dutifully working on editing the first draft of Cliche based on beta-readers’ wonderful feedback.  Next thing on the agenda is rewrites.  The most egregious area for improvement is the ending, and while the odds of my forgetting it are high, I have a reasonable idea of how to phrase it better.  In general, I am very happy that it’s coming together as nicely as it is – it’s pleasantly surprising.

While I would be foolish to publish this story completely raw and unedited, I want to get this one out as soon as possible – I currently foresee a summer 2018 release for Cliche.  I’m confident that by that point, I’ll have helped it along enough that I won’t cringe quite as much at the finished product if I do.  (Let’s face it, hiring an editor to deep-clean the book is beyond my budget constraints right now.)

With that merry little update out of the way, I feel I should get back to the bad news I touched upon in paragraph #1.  I’m running out of content to share here and I haven’t the time to make new ones.  If you’ve made it this far, this is your warning that this blog will likely become fully dormant by the end of this year.

A handful of writerly blogger contemporaries I follow have recently done over their blogs or abandoned them entirely (in some fortunate cases, for new ones) because they no longer fit their old, self-imposed parameters.  I fear it’ll sound cliche (haha) but I’m starting to feel that way about my own blog.  For better or worse, my outlook on several of the issues I was passionate about when I started posting here has changed.

But fear not!  Unless WordPress says otherwise, I have no plans of shutting this blog down or taking down drastic amounts of old content.  Even if I no longer espouse the same beliefs as my younger self, I’m certainly not afraid of them.  (Well, most of them, anyway.)

Eventually, I’ll get back to this blog and write stuff again.  I’d love for it to be active when Cliche is ready for print, but life (by way of commitments, responsibilities, etc.) does have a knack for finding a way (to get in my way).

Until next time, enjoy the next scheduled post (which most likely contains a nonsensical downer of a poem)!

-Al

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Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

Recovery and writing about it? (Not yet.)

While I was going about my day, I had an inkling of a potential subplot for the Cliche story arc.  That story arc would be inspired by a darker part of my writing life, the part I’ve alluded to in poems and more explicitly in the sound art track on my poetry EP.

To respect the privacy of everyone involved, I’ve hesitated to speak about the time someone tried to control my creativity.  I was resistant, but it was at a low point in my personal life, and knowing that, the person tried to use that vulnerability against me.  In fact, anything creative they saw me doing, they tried to take over and then rub it in my face, make me feel guilty that I wasn’t creating for them.

No thanks to that person, I couldn’t really write for a long time.  And I’m wary to this day of collaborative writing projects, especially co-writing projects.  I’m able to do them now, but a) I worry (without basis) it’ll be like this one; and b) what if I become like that person – lazy, controlling, expecting my partner to do all the work while all I do is criticize and get my name on the cover.

Thank G-d, my bout of writer’s block finally cleared when I started roleplaying on Young Writers Society.  Thanks to the lovely people there, my zeal for writing returned, little by little.  I’ve got one completed manuscript that I’m super proud of, and I’m currently 75% done with another.

In my notes for the Cliche sequel, the entire subplot idea is covered in question marks.  Until now, Cliche has just been poking some good-natured fun at the stuff writers do.  I feel like crafting this particular subplot into the story would be pulling from a dark, shadowy source that might taint it.

But there’s a reason it feels so dark.  The thing is, I’ve only just come to the point that I can express my feelings about that time in verse.  I don’t think I’m ready to turn that experience into self-deprecating humor.  The time for that will come eventually, when I can look on that time and actually chuckle at it.  But not yet.

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Readerly Rants, Reviews, Uncategorized

Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson [Gold Seer Trilogy #2]

Like a River Glorious is the sequel to Walk on Earth a Stranger in the Gold Seer trilogy by Rae Carson.  In my review for the first book, I was raving about just how well Carson’s writing holds my attention.  While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the last one, Like a River Glorious held my attention just as much; I finished it in approximately one sitting. Continue reading Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson [Gold Seer Trilogy #2]”

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Readerly Rants, Reviews, Uncategorized

Allison Reads Bronte – Jane Eyre, Part 3 [AUDIO EDITION]

I was too lazy to jot down my thoughts in full, so I decided to record them instead.  Yay, now you get to hear what I sound like when I’m not acting.  (Truth be told, I’m not the most polished speech-giver/speaker, so this is actually a good exercise in skill and confidence for me.  It’s scary enough sharing my voice with the world when I’m reading other people’s words.)

For context, I marked various points of interest with paperclips as I was reading this section, and flipped through the pages to find them as I was recording.  (I’ve done my best to edit out all the page-flipping noises.)  Plus, because my hands were full with the book, I couldn’t hold the pop filter over my mic, so #nofilter! 😛

Also, before we begin – this portion of the book deals with a lot of romance and briefly mentions a character’s past affair and the possibility of this character’s illegitimate offspring.  This book, while not vulgar, is not for six-year-olds.

For those of you who are worried about how fast I talk without pausing to take a breath, yes, it’s true, I talk pretty fast, but I also edited most of the particularly long, awkward pauses between my sentences.

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

Musings on Poetry

When I first decided I wanted to be a writer, a lot of the well-intended adults in my life suggested I hold off on trying to write a novel first-thing.  Instead, I ought to write short stories.  Being the overconfident kid I was, I paid them no mind.  Several years later, I think I’m finally capable of writing middle-grade-novel-length books.  And I’m still not particularly good at cramming my story plotlines into short story form.  I can’t help but wonder, if I’d honed my short-story-writing skills in this time, would I be better off?  I don’t know.

Still, now that I run a blog and am trying to update it every-other-weekly with new content, I do see the appeal of producing short, bite-sized content.  I’m hesitant to share serialized excerpts of a story that I plan on printing in its entirety and selling – and, as noted, I am neither good at nor easily able to enjoy writing short stories.  So I’ve taken to sharing my poetry, however badly it’s written.

One of my recently completed voice acting projects involved reciting some obscure poetry from a classic writer.  From reading what other, more experienced poets have written, I feel like I’ve internalized some elements that improved my own poetry writing technique; it has certainly influenced the way I want my writing read back to me when I’m done with it.

Despite my greater interest in reciting poetry, I’ve never been a fan of reading it for fun.  I’m by no means a poetry aficionado, or even a casual reader yet.  But it’s an interest I’m starting to cultivate to the point that I’m now comfortable reading my own writings aloud and to other people.

I always enjoyed the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe, particularly the ones where nameless, first-person-POV characters (whom I always nickname Edgar) sink deeper and deeper into pits of insanity, with or without pendulums.  But he also wrote poetry, which I’m hoping to explore.  And as you know, I’m exploring the literary world of the Bronte siblings.  Under the collective pseudonym of the Bell brothers, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne wrote loads of poems.  I’m starting with the authors I’m already familiar with for their stories, and getting to know them anew for their poetic works.

On a final note, several of my friends and readers have asked me to explain the meaning of my poems, and whether or not their interpretations are accurate.  I never know how to respond.

One of the things I resented in grade school was being given a poem and told there was only one right way to interpret it – the way the textbook said it was.  I don’t think that’s the way poetry is meant to be read.

For me, the beauty of poetry is that it doesn’t have to be blunt and straightforward.  I can be a lot more wishy-washy about the words I’m using  than I can with regular storytelling, and still classify it as art – word-art.  This leaves the reader wondering what they’ve just read, and what any of it even means, and each one has their own unique perspective to offer.

Some poems are meant to be obvious, but my poetry is intended to be cryptic.  Even if I had at least one idea in mind when I wrote the thing, I want it to be interpreted in as many ways as possible.  Do you think I’m just going to give away the one idea I had in mind when I was writing it, and take away your ability to interpret it in a million and one ways?

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Readerly Rants, The Writing Life, Uncategorized

S.J. Penner: a writerly vlogger you should totally watch

When I hear the word “vlog,” YouTubers like Casey Neistat, Elise Buch, and Alyshia Ford (PsychoTraveler) Presley Alexander (ActOutGames) come to my mind – YouTubers who frequently document themselves doing things.  Things which require moving around and going places and opening things.  But a vlog doesn’t need to be those things – it can involve sitting-down things too.  Like writing.  S.J. Penner does just that.  I’ve recently become Twitter-friendly with S.J., and when she started vlogging, I subscribed to her YouTube channel right away because I was hooked!

Vlogs like Mr. Neistat or Ms. Ford’s take me to places I’ve never gone and show me adventurous things I don’t see myself doing – things that are beyond me, way out of my league.  S.J.’s vlog shows me things I do do (or try to do) on a tri-weekly basis, things that I see as attainable and doable, like editing one’s manuscript, and it motivates me to get those those things done in my life.  (Also, can we talk about S.J.’s adorable pet bird, Marvin?  He’s quite the character, and S.J. often adds subtitles to his “Musings” whenever he chirps in the background. 😀 )

I’ve been working on putting the finishing touches to my WIP, Cliche, but there have been countless times where I had time to work on it, but simply didn’t feel motivated.  While watching S.J. write / edit her projects in her videos while trying to work on my own helped a ton – it made it feel like we were hanging out and doing these writerly things together.  S.J. shows us we’re not alone in the writerly world, with its ups and downs.

If that sounds at all interesting to you, I highly recommend checking out her YouTube channel.  Happy writing! 🙂

 

 

Posted in Miscelaneous Musings, Readerly Rants, Uncategorized

Allison Reads Bronte: Jane Eyre, Part Two

And now for another edition of the Brontesaurus.  (Yeah, I don’t think I’m keeping that name….)  I don’t know why I’m sharing this blow-by-blow reaction to Jane Eyre, but I think this blog’s the best place to do it.

I finished the Lowood School story arc in Jane Eyre.  One thing that really jumped out at me at the final chapters of this arc is the irony of the spring season at Lowood.  Inside the school’s walls, the students are stricken with a devastating plague, but on the outside, Jane vividly describes the beautiful changes in nature, the renewal of plant life, that comes with the new season.  Oh, and Helen Burns dies from the plague.  That’s pretty tragic.

Following the plague, people in power take note of Brocklehurst’s corruption, and start making improvements in the students’ living conditions.  Things take a turn for the better in this regard. Continue reading “Allison Reads Bronte: Jane Eyre, Part Two”