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?

Writing memes first line

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 😀 ).

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.

3f72fc7bb8583cd0f7b4826da890b0de--aldous-huxley-brave-new-world

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.

Word count

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…

1081

Happy Watching!

 

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:  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:  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 step  back and make something that could be my best work yet.

The third lesson in failure:  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:  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 but  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…)

20190724_081137

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!

get-backup

 

 

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.

3b8ac71a40cf1dd93559c6a711f5953ccac9841c_hq

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.

2017-01-23-21_25_37-HorribleSubs-3-gatsu-no-Lion-14-1080p.mkv-VLC-media-player

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.

0309d788f498220f99eede880c0234b31510842490_full

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 :).

March-Comes-in-Like-a-Lion-Season-2-Header-001-20170821

Things that make me Happy!

I was nominated by Lilisblissfulpages to list 50 things that make me happy

Check out her blog for read book insights and also the Read-A-Thon (Did you just rename it?) 24 hours of straight reading! I have yet to make it that long haha!

This is really a good time of year to be thinking of these things in our lives. We just pasted Thanksgiving in the states and we are coming up on Christmas. These last few years it has been good to focus on non-material things since I haven’t had the money to buy my family any gifts. I always tell them to not get me anything either. It really is nice just to be with them. I have brothers that I rarely get to see and most of the time they don’t come to Christmas so it tends to just be me and my parents.

So lets see how far I get down this list of 50!

  1. Dogs- and honestly animal in general. I love my four rescues and they are really like my children.

    17917145_10100278720081045_4042463307483811412_o
    So freaking cute! The white fluff is my first adopted one when I lived in Korea 😀
  2. Writing- It is always fun to put down writing as something that makes me happy. Because if you write (hey bloggers) you know how frustrating writing can be. How you find that you used the word slowly 175 times in your manuscript. When you just can’t seem to put a comma in the write place. Also when you stare at a blank screen and those damn words just don’t seem to cooperate. Then in the end you struggled through those 500 words and you find that really fun moment where you realize you are doing something you love. Yes, happiness is a funny word to describe writing but in the end things in our life that make us happy are things we work for.
  3. My room- I get my own writing room. It really is nice to close the door and be able to have some focus
  4. Theatre- I used to act and I loved it. I still find so much magic in going to live theatre.
  5. Slow snow- Nothing is more peaceful than slow falling snow. It just kind of sparkles.
  6. Anime- Yeah this will always pop up. The stories, the characters, the abs… There really is something for everyone. I just wrote a post on why I love anime. I’m just always happy that I found it.
  7. Urban Fantasy- Gosh I love this genre. The sarcasm really is right up my alley. The action the bit of darkness. The struggle of the characters. It is something I will always enjoy reading.
  8. YA Fantasy- This is a genre that has grown so much and I wish I had this many amazing and diverse books to read when I was a teen. I love the fact that it is something that can be enjoyed for any age and there is something for everyone.
  9. The manga Mars- This was a manga that put me in a reading slump for over a month. The longest ever. Nothing I read could compare to it. I loved the tragic characters. The story. The relationship. It really hit me in a hard way and I want to reread it but I also don’t want to…
  10. Ella Enchanted- This is a ya book that I read every year. I love fractured fairy tales and I love Cinderella stories. Something about an underdog you know? This was one of the first books I read as a young girl that had this spunky female lead. I think before I was used to reading about “nice girls” I loved the character. I think it is safe to say that you will see a bit of Ella in a lot of my female characters. But with more swearing…
  11. Chocolate – This makes me a bit too happy and I think I enjoy it too much.
  12. Hak- Also I have a full post about my husbando.
    7970154030fcf5cd5cde945e775812667c70ccf7_hq
    But in case you forgot… ha

    13. Christmas trees- I don’t have one up in my house but honestly I can stare at a Christmas tree for hours. I don’t know what it is about the lights or the tree or the memories in the ornaments. It just makes me feel so happy!

14. The aniblogger community- It makes me so happy to take about anime on here. I don’t get to talk about it much in my life. I’m just so happy I have a safe place to write about anime and talk about it with others.

15. Is this the place where I have to list individual anime? hahaha Honestly 50 things isn’t much but it is a lot to write.

16. Warm socks – My feet are usually really hot but dang in the winter cozy socks are amazing!

17. Writing Conferences- I’m so lucky to go to places that really recharge me as a writer. A place where I met other writers and we check in with each other. I hope you have found a small group of other people that encourage you with what you love to do. If you don’t you can always send me a message and we can talk! I’m awkward but I love to hear about what you love!

18. The fact that I can’t make it to 50 since I rambled on too much but I know you all won’t judge me. Right?

Thank you you again to Lili for the nomination and I’m sorry it took me so long to get to doing this post.

So take some time in this holiday season to think about the things that make you happy!

Happy Watching!

When you need something more

My weekly insight on Run With the Wind is late this week. I’m sorry about that but honestly it gave me a bit of time to think about what I wanted to say.

This episode six focused on King and I think this episode really could speak to a lot of those who are in their college or after college life.

img_0427

We are often told that we can do or be whatever we want. Honestly I fall a bit into the dreamer side of the world. I also have a mean realistic streak. King is trying is hardest to interview and find a job after his time in the university. He wants to make money and he doesn’t seem to care what job he gets as long as he gets one.

This is honestly a fact of life. We want to have that security of a job.

img_0429

I have pushed aside my dreams for most of my life. Make money writing and selling books? Nah. I needed to find a job to support my “hobby” and that led to me not writing. I like to do things always on the extreme side. All or nothing baby!

Now that I’m at the point where I can find a happy medium between writing and teaching. I’ve noticed that my depression has faded. There are some days where writing still gets cut out but I’m working to make it a priority. Writing isn’t easy and it is funny that I can find happiness in something that can be so frustrating.

img_0433

Because seeing the reason that King decided to run really ran a bit true. He needed something else in his life. Running will help him handle the stress of the job and the job hunt. It is something to do that brings joy and a release of stress.

Now, I can argue the fact that running wasn’t really his own choice. However, it is a nice statement that we really need to have something in our lives that gives us happiness.

We can get wrapped up in our jobs and day to day stresses. Those thing never really go away. If you are in a job that is your dream hold onto that sucker until the day you die. I can hope that one day my my books will support me enough but until then I can enjoy the moments where I can set aside time to write. It is a frustrating wonderful thing, writing, but it really is fulfilling.

Now for your weekly prince update….

img_0430img_0431

Hang in there Prince!

Happy Watching!

Why I Still Love Anime

I’m honored that Ty-chama tagged me in her post. She is newer to the world of aniblogging and has wonderful  blog posts. So I encourage you all to check out her blog!

In this challenge we are to:

  • Write a post about why you love anime. It could be your favourite thing about it or one of your favourite things about it, it doesn’t matter which, but just pick one!
  • You can get as personal or as impersonal as you like. You might want to write about how anime helped you through a tough time or something that it has taught you or you might want to write about just how much fun you’ve had watching it over the years. Your choice
  • Nominate three bloggers to do the same
  • Link back to this post. I would love to see what you’ve written and I may compile a list of my favourite entries further down the line

Sometimes we can have a love hate thing with anime. I don’t know how many times I quit watching something when another kick ass female character became mush over a potato of a lead male. (Wow do I have some issues haha. I’ve been burned too many times before).

However, from amazing stories (Psycho Pass) to unique world building (Made in the Abyss) to freaking awesome characters (Yona of the Dawn) I have a deep love for anime.

But one thing over the last two years has really become my favorite thing about anime. It is like a secret instant friendship.

8272e7e3edbe004a16a504b0bb784daf142150c6
When you meet someone who likes the same anime

Some may already have heard this story many times but I never wanted to tell people about my healthy *cough* obsession with anime. It was something that even among my friends was looked down on that I would watch child “cartoons”  or be a weeb (spoken with a sneer).

Then to make a long story short I honestly stopped letting other people steal my  joy. I subscribed to anime boxes and got awesome shirts. I hung posters of anime in my classroom. I proudly wore my AoT hoodie. Then I notices a shift. My pride in liking something drew in others.

It was like you could form an instant bond with anyone just by liking anime… And it was AWESOME!

 

Hak Silly
You like Yona? ME TOO!

I found students coming up to me recommending anime. I started a blog about anime and found more awesome people. I honestly feel like I can be the most open on this blog about my healthy *cough* obsession with 2D boys.

And I kid you not, just happened yesterday, during the last fifteen minutes of my creative writing class we just talked about anime. Anime is helping me build relationships with students. To me that is the most important thing a teacher can do!

Now I know that there always will be those who say that you can’t be a true anime fan for reason blah blah or blah blah… Honestly, I just have to laugh and wish them well. They are missing out of one of my favorite things about anime. The bond you can share with other anime lovers.

814131010872_anime-haikyu-collection-1-blu-ray-alte
Walk proud my fellow otakus!

Thank you again Ty-chama for the nomination and I hope you all take a moment to think about your favorite things in anime.

In the mean time I will tag (and no pressure especially coming from me the queen of forgetting to answer tags)

Raistlin

magicconan

The Otaku Judge

Happy watching!

 

A Debt Paid

Always in my writing and in watching anime I love finding ‘villains’ that are more than just one note. It goes from watching sports anime where I feel bad if the rival team loses to those characters who I really don’t want to see die. Those are the stories that I love to read and watch.

If you are planning on watching akame ga kill– this will not be spoiler free.
You have been warned.

Also in my writing I want to make sure my antagonists are moving and changing. You never want a static character. It is tempting to have them be bad just to be bad. The antagonists need powerful motivation just like your protagonists. In using Bols from akame ga kill as my example on how to give your characters agency.

Background

In Akame Ga Kill there are basically two forces opposing each other:  Night Raid and the Jaegers. They are both tools in the bigger pictures of the rebellion against the capital. We are viewing Night Raid as those who are trying to free the people from a corrupt government and the Jaegers are those who are fighting for the government.

Bols is a part of the Jaegers.

Humanize your antagonist

Bols father

In the anime so far we are introduced to many antagonists and there is a brief history of Liver but nothing as in depth as what we get from the introduction of the Jaegers. What this anime does well is that Bols, who can look scary, is humanized.

First we find out that he is actually shy. Aww. Also he is a good cook. Then we find out that he has a wife and daughter. Who come into bring him lunch. It is a sweet moment. So we start to wonder if we are supposed to hate the guy. When he is giving these small human traits it helps us sympathize with him. We start to care about this strange man in a mask that has this adorable family.

Give your antagonist a backstory

Bols_4

Sometimes when we write it is easy to spend days writing out the backstory for our protag. Give your antagonist just as much time. Giving your characters a backstory helps in giving them motivation.

In the anime they don’t take forever to explain Bols backstory (Nothing ruins a story like too much exposition!). They give just enough hints about where he came from. We learn that he was part of the incendiary squad that burned down villages. We learn that he had to ask his wife out multiples times. We learn that he can cook. These are just small hints that help the watcher form this strange character in their minds and connect with him.

Because even as we learn that he burned people alive, it is in his tone and stature that we see his regret. This deepens Bols so much. We start to wonder… “Why is he part of the Jaegers? Doesn’t he want to pay his debts in a different way?

You want the reader/view to ask these questions about your characters. That is what makes them interesting. If you keep the readers wanting to know more then they will keep reading.

Give your antagonist motivation that makes sense in their story

Bols eating

The most powerful development in any good character. Motivation.

Again if your antagonists are just being bad to be bad or if they are just soooooo evil, it turns into a snore fest.

The reader and viewer need to believe that your antagonist has legitimate reasons for their choices.

In Bols case he is part of the Jaegers for a couple reasons. One is is protecting his wife and child and two he believes that if he follows these orders and helps his teammates he is getting some retribution for his past deeds. He also knows that he will pay for his crimes of killing others someday but with his wife and child he hopes it isn’t too soon.

So we have motivation for our character. We can then understand why he does what he does even if we don’t agree with it. This in itself is powerful. I think most can understand that as a husband and father that is very powerful motivation for Bols.

Make the death (if they die) bittersweet

Bols Dying

When or if your antagonist dies you want the reader to care. Its seems strange but if you have humanized and given your character motivation, there is a large chance that the reader/viewer will feel sad at their passing.

I think Bols death was one of the saddest that I have seen in a long time. Before this moment there were other ‘good guys’ who died and yeah it was sad but it didn’t have the heart wrenching feeling the same as Bols death.

In his final moments he shows that he understands why he was killed. He knew that he deserved this death in some way. But he starts to crawl home and reaches for his wife and daughter. He wants to see them one more time before he goes.

The build up of Bols is what makes this moment so bittersweet. We know that he is working for the wrong side but inside we want him to see his wife and child. It saddens the viewer that he doesn’t get his final wish.

 

So if you are writing out your characters don’t ignore how powerful it can be to have an antagonist that we can care for… even if it’s just a little. It will let the reader/viewer have that moment where we question why we care about them. It lets us see that even if they are evil, they are still human. In that way we can see their struggle. We can see our own struggle and how maybe if life was different we could have ended up in the same situation as them.

That is an antagonist that we can get behind and maybe in some small way we hope that they get redemption.

 

 

Hope you enjoyed my writing lesson and thank you all for your kind words and your support in a darker time these last few months. You all really are Me Reasons Why.

Happy Watching!