Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Podcasts that Inspired Me

I know, a post? Mid-month? It's definitely a blue moon, because this blog... is normally not very regularly updated. But, I've been leaving long statuses on Wattpad (I'm trying to get into Wattpad, again. Hopefully I won't fail, again), and I realised I wanted to save them somewhere more permanent. Like this blog.

So anyway, I listen to a bunch of podcasts, and there were a few that really inspired me recently. The two latest episodes of The Creative Penn were really good. I loved the one about writing with emotion, especially this quote:
"So after the big universal world building, the next level down, and you can break this down into several steps, the first one for me is finding a universal theme, which is a primal emotion and I’m going to center everything around."
And from the latest episode on creativity, art and business, I really loved this quote:

I used to think that eventually as a creative person or as an artist I would “arrive,” and I put that in quotes. And what I mean by arrive is that someday I would get to a place where criticism didn’t bother me, where I felt very confident, where everything I put into the world felt easy, and where my life had a certain, my creative process at least, and my putting my work into the world had a certain flow. I realize know because I’ve been doing it for so long now that that’s never going to happen, like it doesn’t really change, and that that’s not actually a bad thing.
This episode also talks about the imposter syndrome, which is something that I definitely feel whenever I publish something, whether it be for sale, or just to a writing site.

And speaking of writing, there is this really interesting Artificial Intelligence software that analyses your story to see how well it fits the market and stuff. I have studied about AI, but I'm more of the IoT/Industrie 4.0/Industrial Internet side of things, so this is super new to me. I'd love to give it a go, but sadly, it's a bit too expensive. Details about it on the 20booksto50k forum, and the Rocking Self Publishing Podcast has some info too.

And on a completely unrelated note, I really liked the recent (two weeks ago) Freakonomics podcast on Grit. As someone who tends to have a wide variety of interests, this line by Angela Lee Duckworth struck me:
"[O]ne thing that I found about paragons of grit, you know, real outliers in passion and perseverance, is that they have extremely well-developed interests. They cultivate something which grabs their attention initially, but that they become familiar with enough, knowledgeable enough that they wake up the next day and the next day and the next year, and they’re still interested in this thing. And I think that is something that we can actually intentionally decide: “I want to be the kind of person who stays interested in something.”
 I definitely want to stick with my many interests and not keep giving them up for something new. So far, I'm doing ok with sticking to writing, but well... it's a good reminder.

And this is what I've found inspiring lately. I actually quite like sharing these, so I guess I may make it a weekly thing :D

Thursday, 5 May 2016

April Writing Updates AND I WON NANOWRIMO

I have the official winner's banner and everything! Of course, my goal was really little - just 10k words instead on 50k, since most of the month was spent planning revisions.

Funnily enough, my wordcount for April was 10965, while my word count for March was 9177, so it seems like NaNo did have a positive effect, even though I didn't think that I wrote that much. It'll be interesting to see if this carries over to May, since I haven't finished rewriting Heart-Less.

Writing Goals for 2016:

1. Publish Beauty's Daughter, which is the sequel to The Nutcracker King (if possible, I want to finish the second draft/main rewrite by this year!)

Still waiting on the edits for this one.

2. Finish the first draft (at least) of The Goblin Apple, which will be the sequel (of sorts) to Beauty's Daughter and The Nutcracker King aka third book in series.

GOAL REACHED. So it's time for version 2.5 of the goal:

2.5 Finish the second draft of The Goblin Apple by the end of the year. 
I wonder if it's possible though, since my stretch goal is taking up my time so far.
3. Publish one of the short story collections at 0.99. 

GOAL REACHED! Although this really is a May thing, but I did it before the update so it counts, right? The School of Anime Characters is now for sale on Amazon, Kobo, Apple and the other retailers that D2D distributes to. And I'm still in love with the cover, so let me post it again:

Stretch goals
4. Finish Mi & You, this WIP that's been a WIP for the last few years. Maybe I'll post chapter 1 here one day to give myself pressure lol.

Still no progress on this one, I'm afraid.

5. Decide what I want to do with Free of Heart (this year's NaNo). If I decide to publish, I want to finish the second draft by the end of 2016 as well.
Well, this was my Camp NaNoWriMo project, so I'm working on this right now! Hopefully I'll finish it before NaNoWriMo in December so that I can start a new project :D

I actually think setting goals was a great idea. I feel like this year has been a lot more productive than last year. Or maybe it's because I'm checking in regularly (sort of), so it becomes easier to see how far I've travelled. I'm sort of hopeful that I'll be able to finish four out of five goals by the end of this year though!

Monday, 2 May 2016

The School of Anime Characters - Published

Today, I hit the "publish" button for the second time!

The School of Anime Characters is basically a short collection of short stories inspired by the anime-loving side of me. And luckily for me, I've got plenty of anime-loving friends, so their stories gave me all that inspiration. And a cover.

So, thank, James! I really, really love the cover you made.

And thank you, Nic, Bekah! This taco totally appreciates all the listening and helping you did <3

Ok, now on to the book:

All Freida wants is to be normal. Getting sent to ‘The School for Anime Characters’ was definitely not part of the plan. Being told she was the hero — well, things couldn’t get worse than that. Can her new classmates get her to embrace her inner hero, or is the world doomed to be overrun by crazy fangirls?  
 The School of Anime Characters is a collection of short stories that add up to roughly 12,000 words, or about 48 book pages.
I'm not very good at announcements and stuff like this, so I'm just going to put the buy links at the bottom. And I guess I have to create permanent pages for my books now.

You can get The School for Anime Characters at:
Amazon (US, Japan, and all other stores)