Lies we tell ourselves

Writers like to torture themselves. As a writer I am part of this sick group of individuals that find it fun/funny (I don’t know anymore) to try and write a novel in a month.

I think then we like to move on and torture our characters…

I haven’t watched or read much this month (perfect time to come back to blogging kimchi) because for the first time I’m taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). The stars have aligned for my writing since I just finished making my outline in time for November. I could finally take part in NaNoWriMo since I was ready to start writing my rough draft. So lucky right?

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My title may feel a bit off but I wanted to talk about the excuses that writers (you can insert artist, ect ;)) use when they are writing.

I was in the stage for many years where I would just talk about writing… And not write. I never called myself a writer until I finished my first novel.

So dear writer. Stop talking and start writing. What is holding you back? Chances are you are a reader and you already understand what makes a good story. Are you scared that someone will read it? In one of my favorite books on writing Bird by Bird she says, “No one will read your shitty first drafts.” See that?

It is okay for your first draft to be a mess. It is okay that your character’s sword disappeared for five chapters then suddenly appeared in their had when it was left in the trunk of their car (Very specific example šŸ˜€ ).

It is okay for it to be a mess. So what is stopping you?

“I don’t have time to write.”

hmm Okay life is busy. I get that. So do you want to be a writer? Is it something that burns in your bones? Do your characters scream at you to come out of your head? Is there this really cool idea that you thought of for years?

Well, I have no easy advice but we make time for what is important to us. We really do. I complained that I didn’t have time for years and yet I had time to marathon a kdrama… So think about where you are spending your time.

I used to guard my “nothing” time.

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What is “nothing” time? Well it was that time where I would rush home so I could do nothing. I guarded that time like a crazy person. It was a bit insane. I thought my nothing time made me happy but in the end it just made my depression worse.

When I started taking my “nothing” time and turn it into time for my goals, things started to get better.

So take a look at your time and how you use it. I’m in no way saying that you should feel bad for watching show, playing games, or just having fun. We need those things just as much. But like I said. If you really want to do something you will find the time to do it.

 

There will always be an excuse to not start something today. Life will never stop or calm down. You just need to sit down and do it. Give it your best.

This was the worse week time wise for my writing. My personal goal was to hit 2k a day for the month of November. Then life decided that it would hit me with everything at once. But you know what… I made the time. One day I finished at 11:59pm.

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But I hit my 2k words eve-ry-day. I will keep on going this month. Even though for NaNoWriMo the goal is 50k I am a crazy person and set my goal for 60k this month.

I know it is possible. This draft isn’t pretty but I sat down and made the time. There will always be an excuse. A problem. A lie that we tell ourselves.

But keep on going. It is possible to hit those goals even with dark days. But let’s save those dark days for editing…

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Happy Watching!

 

Story Vs Life: Going into the darkness

Ever love someone so much that you would kill for them? How aboutĀ  manipulate them so they start to get isolated?

No?

Good.

Cause that is some crazy S*** right there.

However, in our watching a reading I find that these kind of manipulative romances are a huge draw for readers (*cough cough Twilight). And that is 100% okay! Reading about it and saying that it is healthy are two different things.

To get to the point one of my favorite Webtoons recently is “My Deepest Secret.” It is about a guy named Elios who will do anything for his girlfriend Emma.

Elios Deepest Secret Kill

See here Emma things he is being hyperbolic…

Now this is were sometimes stories make me feel like I am crazy. I read this webtoon and I LIKE Elios. I like this guy who is manipulating her to be alone and hurting others for her. Does this mean I want a sociopath boyfriend? No, it does not.

I like the story. I like his character. In real life this would be a run for the hills situation. But Emma doesn’t know this yet. She doesn’t know what he is doing and only the reader does.

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This is something the writer really does well. We can feel frustrated at Emma and yell at our screen for her to get out but she doesn’t see it. She only sees the side of him that cares about her.

I think that is something we need to remember when we want to judge others to harshly. When you are in that situation of manipulation you really don’t see it.

Elios and Emma

When she sees this Elios is just a kind caring boyfriend. When we see it we think “Oh god he is gonna kill someone.”

I think my point is that stories like this are great when they are just stories. I think there is a fine line to walk when we romanticizeĀ  abusive relationships. I think it is harder to see the manipulation sometimes. I didn’t think Edward in Twilight was manipulated the first time I read it as a young woman. Now as an adult my brain screams “Warning Warning Danger!”

However, like I said before there is nothing wrong with enjoying it as a story. Hopefully in your life relationships like this just stay in the story and not in your real life.

I think this post got away from me a bit. I didn’t want it to be a discouragement to read this webtoon. I really want you to! I think it is a great story with great characters! It is very thrilling and honestly every week I’m frustrated since I want to find out what happens!

I just also find it fascinating that I find this character sympathetic. Which is honestly… Hats off to the writer. If you can make me love a killer… Well, you did your job.

Elios Deepest Secret

This scene didn’t hurt either.

Since I’m shallow like that šŸ˜‰

In the end this is an interesting story and I think we are all waiting for the ball to drop when Emma finds out who Elios really is…

Happy Watching!

(Warning:Ā  This webtoon has harm happen to an animal at the start, just to warn you. That was hard for me to read).

A Tragic Journey

I’ve branched out to being a bit obsessed with Kdramas. There is something very addictive about them so proceed with caution.

One Kdrama that I’ve been wanting to watch for a long time was Goblin or Guardian: The Lonely and Great God. I think to save my fingers a bit of pain I’m just going to stick with Goblin.

I only had Netflix for awhile and I couldn’t find anywhere to watch this show that was getting all these amazing reviews. Finally Viki came through and they have it on their streaming platform.

I heard it was good but I wasn’t prepared.

Goblin K drama

This drama hits all the notes of a good kdrama and then leaves you wrecked.

“Well dang Kimchi, I don’t know if I want to watch this if I’m going to be in tears.”

Let’s just follow the good advice of Aristotle who says it is good for us to purge our emotions. This drama doesn’t just have tragic moments but it also has so many humorousĀ  ones as well.Ā  I’ve always picked my favorite stories based on this balance. In my opinion good writing tries to hit all the different emotions.

Our souls need a break from the sadness in shows. We need to laugh and this drama is a perfect balance. Mainly due to the relationship between the Goblin and Grim Reaper…

 

I honestly cared so much for them and I found their relationship so sweet. It is the perfect bromance.

Also my favorite part…

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I may or may not have played this scene on repeat…

Then in the funny moments you meet these characters who are fragile all in their own ways. The life they have now is dictated by their past mistakes or trauma that happened to them not by their choice.

You want these characters to be happy. You the watcher forgive them for what they did. But they have to live with themselves and sometimes that is the biggest punishment.

Regret something? What if you had to regret it for hundreds of years? What if what you did not only hurt yourself but others? What if your choices caused the death of others?

Goblin

There is a strong element of romance in this kdrama but for me it was more about how all these people/beings came together and formed a really strange family. One family where they were accepted for who they are. Then giving them a chance to forgive themselves.

I don’t want to tell you what to do with your life, but if you love a good story try this one. If you only ever watch one kdrama– let it be this one.

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There is beauty in the characters brokenness but in also their redemption.

Happy Watching!

And Happy Halloween!

The ups and downs: Learning to push through Failure

I remember my excitement when Auri invited me to participate in the Animanga Festival. I vanished again and I wasn’t sure how exactly to come back to my dear blog and my dear blog friends. I thought this would be a great way to see what everyone had been up to and get back to my routine that I had in 2018.

I made plans but I didn’t make the posts. This turned out to be a mistake since I found out I would need surgery and I had no posts ready to go to set up that would publish while I recovered. (RIP gallbladder).

I took this with my usually mood– Disappointed that I wasn’t prepared and put it in the pile of “pushed back deadlines” where my first book ended up a long with other things.

The first lesson on failure:Ā  Failing is temporary.

I have to remind myself that I’m not done. Even though I had plans to publish in February 2020 pushing it back is not a failure. It was something that sucked yes, but I have no plans of giving up. I am still going to publish in 2020 and even though it is later it actually might be a better option for me.

The second lesson on failure:Ā  Sometimes failing is disguised as an opportunity.

When my husband lost his job I had to use my saved editing money to pay the bills. I will be honest. I was mad at him and mad at his company that betrayed him. Then there was this small part of me that was relieved. Honesty time, I’m scared as all get out to put my work out there. I remembered my old mindset that –if I didn’t try I wouldn’t fail… Well, I can tell you now that isn’t true.

So I took this moment as a gift of more time. I decided that my first book was something that did need a lot more work. Then I took a closer look an there were a lot of problems. I decided to put my beloved first book away (for now) and I started something new.

Even though the money thing sucked (it always does) and I have to start over saving for an editor, I found that this time gave me a chance to stepĀ  back and make something that could be my best work yet.

The third lesson in failure:Ā  You are not alone.

It is easy to think that we are the only ones out there “sucking it up” (did I have a word quota on the word suck today?) but we really aren’t. When we are in a world where people only post the best of themselves it feels like we are falling behind. Remind yourself that everyone struggles. Maybe not in the same way but they have their own failures that they deal with. They also have to struggle and push through. Social media can be a good reminder to us that we only see the surface. I like to post both… My failures and my successes. I never know who it will encourage. One is to let them know that they are not alone and the other is that you can get past the struggle.

The fourth lesson in failure:Ā  Somethings are out of your control, but you can make your own luck.

My friend once told me that if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all! haha. I have to agree a bit. I’ve had a contractor make a roof that leaked butĀ  he didn’t fix it so I had to pay for repairs. The front of my house started to sink. I got in a car accident. My dog had to get surgery and I was out of sorts for a month worrying about him. I then had to get surgery and I was scared. Then my husband got fired twice.

Let me tell you it has been a roller coaster.

There were days that I spent in bed. The days I let my depression win. Then there were the days were I got up and told myself that this wasn’t the end. I still had fight left within me.

I stood up for myself more and more. I was able to get the raise that I wanted and I was able to pitch an agent that wasn’t available to me. This took a lot out of me. I had to be a bit confrontational… And I’m not… at all.

But I realized there are somethings in life that I can prevent. I can stick up for. Somethings require money I don’t have (like a lawyer for the contractor on my roof) but I can’t let that negativity fill me anymore. I have to try and find ways to “make my own luck” because I know there are not going to be any handouts for me. ha!

 

Those are just a few things that are on my mind especially these last few months where I am starting a new series. I haven’t had the brain space to be very creative. As I start writing my fourth book I need to remember to just keep pushing forward.

This theme for the festival these next few days is about expressing ourselves. It has always been my goal to encourage you. I’m going to be going on a crazy journey in these next few months and I hope I’ll get to see you there next October when I publish my first book!

For now I’ll leave you with a bit of a teaser of my bookcover. (Sorry for the low quality screen shot of the cover…)

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This world is awesome and these characters are about to go forth and make a mess… Like all good characters should!

So in the end, go forth and fail!

Then get up and try again!

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Finding Your Tribe

We all take breaks.

We all need breaks.

In the last few months I’ve been back and gone and back and gone and back and gone… Well you get the point.

Why so many breaks Kimchi?

I wish I could pinpoint it to one thing really. But when things happen they happen all at once. Then you don’t notice that you are falling until you’ve reach the bottom.

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From there you still have a choice. You can rise up or keep falling down.

Sometimes you can’t do it on your own.

Tribe

I’ve been open about my struggle with suicide and depression. It is a miracle that I am here today. Due to my dear friend answering my text, it was the life line I needed and I grabbed on with shaking hands and a still empty heart.

In these last few years I formed groups with other writers. We video chat on a weekly basis. We talk about our writing, help each other with writers block, and support each other when we need it.

These last few months I was riding high in January after finishing my third book and I really saw it as my best work yet, which made me so excited to see improvement.

Then I tried to start the next book.

It was slow going but I was getting there. Then I stopped.

Then I got sick.

Then I got into more debt due to health.

Three things kept me afloat these years. I had three goals I was working on and as long as one was going strong I felt like the depression was kept at bay.

Writing. Heath. Paying off debt.

Then in March all three went to shit.

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Then I started to stay in bed. Part of me almost realized what was happening. I would go to work (barely it look me forever to get out of bed in the morning). Then I would come home and stay in bed. No yoga, no writing. I guess in my defense I was very sick but you know even things that are out of your control just add more to the pile.

Last week my mind started a dangerous game.

It started to tell me to give up writing. It told me that there was no point since no one would read my books. My mind told me that I shouldn’t bother since I will never be as good as so and so. My mind told me to give up something that brought me so much joy in the last few years. It told me to quit.

Tribe

This time I had backup. I had writers gathered around me to support me. They were going through the same things as me. I wasn’t alone anymore. They asked me what they could do to help me. Honestly just seeing their faces every week helped me.

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I knew I couldn’t give up writing. My depression isn’t going to win this round. Even though I had to put aside this book to work on something different. I didn’t lose.

It is a battle. All the time. It is a battle we have to fight. I will say it a thousand times. If you feel like you ever need someone to talk to send me a message. I want you to know that you are not alone.

March ended like a lion for me. However, I’m back on track and I know that I have a tribe to back me up.

And all you wonderful anime nerds to hang out with. You are part of my tribe and I’m thankful to have something like this in my life. I can’t promise I won’t disappear again but I want you to know I’m fighting. Thank you for being you :).

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I like what I like… Until…

There is that genre that we tend to avoid. You know when the story sounds pretty cool then you see that it’s a certain genre… It can be an automatic pass. You know there is no judgement from me since I am a serial abuser of the “I don’t like_____ .”

Mostly it has to do with harems. I really don’t like them. I also should mention that I am a super hypocrite since I like some reverse harems. So I’ll just lay it all out there that I am a super hypocrite. Or I could argue that there is a bit of difference and that to me it is the personality of the main character… blah blah blah.

But I’m actually want to write about those few harems that snuck through my instant reject and turned into something that I enjoyed.

Something that frustrates me is my own lack of research. So I’m the only one to be blamed here. When I’m watching an anime and it is okay but I stop watching once girl number two falls in love with potato boy. At that point I’m done. The anime already failed me in the fact that the main character is not a believable love interest. For any harem to work (for me) I have to believe that one person would be awesome enough to have multiple love interests… (I had to rage quit Accel World)

accel world
He is cuter as a pig but the constant crying… Thank you, next.

So it in the end I’ve only watched very few harem anime all the way to the end. Also if I see one male surrounded by women in the picture I tend to pass.

Now for the ones that I found myself enjoying. These I guess have a darker themes and I think a way stronger male lead.

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This anime will be getting a second season soon which I’m pretty excited about. However, Re: zero was a hard sell at first. When I first watched it I didn’t make it through the first episode. Then for some reason I tried it again and I think the darker elements really drew me in. I also started to like the how the main character grew with each rebirth. He didn’t stay the same and and that really sold me on him as a harem leader lol.

I did also like that he had to earn one of his love interests loyalty. He never knew if they were going to kill him or not. Pretty fun. Nothing like keeping your man on his toes.

Shield hero

 

The Rising of the Shield Hero is a recent anime that I’m really enjoying. For me Naofumi is a great character. He is a bit refreshing to me as an harem lead. For one I don’t see him crying all the time and also he isn’t awkwardly blushing all the time. I really like that. He was the typical nerd but I like that he is more hardened and that he really changed and grew as a character.

It really is a story line that makes sense. Normally I would be done at the first lollicon (something that makes me insta quit… sorry just not my thing) but the story and mc (for now) is overriding something I really don’t like … Now that is a powerful story to do that.

I think it is also due to the fact that he is acting more like a father or brother figure and that may be what is working for me.

So these two harems broke my own standards and I’m really happy that they did. It is hard to put out a blanket statement saying that you don’t care for a genre. In the end though, life is too short to watch something you don’t like. But I guess you have to stay open to finding that next thing that will bring you joy.

Any anime that changed your mind about a genre?

Happy Watching!

 

 

 

Artwork Reveal

So this blog is still about anime… right? ha… ha… ha…

Okay I’m getting back into gear. But for now I’m excited to show you all the commissioned work I got done for my author page and blog page!

I had this wonderful work done by Tanya Hales

I wanted a plus size commission that had a bit of my sass… or sarcasm whatever you prefer. Also my bowl of kimchi is still in my photo which I was super excited about. She was great to work with and I’m excited to use this art for my author webpage and my blog!

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I’m getting things organized the best I can. I will probably make posts on my journey to indie publishing next year and still blog about my love of 2D boys since that is something that I will be infected (I mean affected?) with for the rest of my life.

In the mean time I’m still enjoying every ones posts and I hope that some of my creative brain will go back to blogging. Not that it going to my books is a bad thing, but I need more anime in my life!

Happy Watching!