Friday, May 27, 2011

Worry

Yesterday was kind of a... sad day.

Work was fantastic and Jen bought me lunch and stuff, so that was fine. It's just some of the stuff that came after that made me want to cry.

While Jaron was at work, I was busy marking things in my full novel that I need to look out for when I reread it. I marked all references to time, days, months, years--especially because they shouldn't be there. Days are days, seconds are seconds, but months are styses, weeks are lypses, years are cycles... The biggest reason for the change? Because they're not the same as what we are used to. Most everything is longer. There are only six 'months', there are nine days in a 'week'... etcetera. Anyway, I was doing that for a while, highlighting stuff I should pay attention to when I'm making my final edits.

After that, I went through Google Reader, Goodreads, Facebook, this blog, and deviantART, where I had basically nothing to look at. I post stuff all the time--and I feel kind of like no one is actually paying attention. I know in my heart that it's not true, that people look at my stuff without commenting--but my head worries that no one cares.

Anyway, I flipped open my scripture quad for help. And what I found there I thought was very interesting. It's (LDS) D&C 134:9. It states: "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied."

To me, it was a perfect thought about how the members of the church do not necessarily stand for the foundations of the gospel. I had a limited space in which to write my thought on Facebook, and it seems some people didn't understand what I was trying to post. So I got many comments and multiple notes. I guess that's what I get for putting it on Facebook instead of on here where I have all the room I need to explain myself.

But the point is, because people were worried I was bashing their religion or something, they suddenly all started to care. And it was hard for me to leave that little post up. But I did it, because I stand by what I thought about this scripture. But I couldn't get out an answer that made sense to everyone, I guess.

So last night I cried over my stupid book. Because I felt like... what I'm writing doesn't seem important to anyone unless it's over what they've been taught to do since birth--defend their religion. My book, Tsirash, that I've spent years working on, is almost ready to go out into the big, scary world, and it has always kinda been swept aside by the people I know and love. I know that, if you're reading this, you do care, but I'm just a worrier.

Jaron and I had a long discussion about it last night, and I do feel a lot better now, but I just needed to get this out there.

On a better note, I saw another comment on my Facebook post this morning: "I'm with Rachel. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the core of the church upon which it is led is true and correct in all its forms- but there are a lot of drones who were born and raised in Utah who don't really know what it is that they claim to believe, and as a result, mindlessly use the church as a back-claim for any of their personal beliefs and/or political opinions."

My trouble with going to church spawns from this fact, but Jaron and I are still trying very hard to get back into the swing of things. We just have to hurdle over some hypocrites to get where we want to go. This comment put almost perfectly what I've been trying to say. So thanks again, Eric.

Well, that's all, I guess. Ta-ta for now.

-Tsira

Monday, May 23, 2011

More Professional

I've been trying to be more professional when dealing with my book. I finally came up with a single sentence hook:

Octras has tried to forget about his past as he travels the country, barely scraping by--but now Tsira, who has secrets of her own, promises Octras a fortune for a seemingly simple task: protect her.

Of course, things are not always as they seem.

I also need to fix my book as far as money and time go. When I was writing this book, I thought I would remember these things, but sometimes I forget how many days are in a lypse and how much a single kett is actually worth. So I'll go through and fix all that when I get Tsirash back from all the awesome people who have been willing to proofread it.

...I think maybe I should have asked for a ride to the concert tonight. Suddenly it's 7:26. I guess I'm not going, ha.

You know what I love? Portal 2. It's been in the back of my mind ever since I played it. It lets you figure out the story. Plus there's so many good lines. And puzzles. And lemons.

You know what else I love? Music. It evokes such strong emotion--and it can be understood no matter what language you speak. My favorite composer happens to be Japanese, and yet... his music is the most beautiful stuff I've ever heard.

Happy sigh.

-Tsira

Friday, May 20, 2011

Indexing

Only eight days left until summer vacation.

I have found that my interests are sometimes very... hard to understand. I don't really know what makes me pick up a game for the fifth time and not finish others. I don't know why I am drawn to some abstract art while finding the rest completely pointless.

And I don't know why I felt the need to start indexing again.

But there's something about it that just... I. Love. It.

Can't figure out why.

-Tsira

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Adventures

She had neither the will nor the breath to respond. Everything she was felt wrong; her body felt torn on the inside. She sputtered a bloody cough, twisting to escape the dead face that looked at hers.

"My very own death knight. How delightful," the male voice said. "I hope you don't mind, dearest, but we'll have to take your memory of this. For your own sanity."

--

Can't see the cursor for some reason... so annoying...

I started reading Valerie's book, "Adventures in Pokti", today. One thing I've noticed a lot with this book is the way that she captures so perfectly the way that children behave. I work with them every day, so even though I don't have any of my own yet, I see the way that their minds work. Granted, the children I work with have a disadvantage in society, but it's a lot like the way my nieces and nephews behave, so... anyway, I love the innocence, the carefree way that the characters behave even in real danger.

Things like, "She's really evil, and nobody likes her," or "Did the evil people leave so I can go outside and play?" They're so cute, and so naive. It makes me laugh because it's so true to life.

Well, my novel has passed hands again, as of Wednesday. This will be the third person to read it... lessee, next is Valerie, then Barbara... and so on. This process is almost driving me crazy, since I won't be reading any comments on it until everyone on the list has read it. But I still feel that it's the best way to go about it. I'm just extremely impatient.

In the meantime, I've gathered up some ideas for a second and possibly even third story set in this world. I just have so much to work with, but so much to clean up. My idea pool is messy, and the gathered sections of information are so random in their placement. For instance, I was thinking today about these new ideas, and suddenly Rael was telling Octras to hit her. He said, "Why would you want me to do that?" and she smiled and said, "Because it feels good, you idiot." Delicious to my starving brain.

Well, on the life spectrum, things are going pretty well. I had food poisoning last week, but that went away the next day, and now my allergies are acting up again. I'm a little self-conscious about it because of kids going "What's wrong with your eye, Mrs. Rachel?" and I worry that there's snot hanging out of my nose that everyone can see but they're too nice to tell me so. But it's not a big deal.

There's only a few days left before summer vacation, but I haven't found a job. I didn't really expect to, since there are so many people who are much more qualified but out of work. And I do have a job... just... not one that I could do forever. At first I wasn't sure I could do it at all. Teach. Apply. Repetition. Frustration. Snot.

Love.

But I still don't want it as a career. If I'm going to have my own children, I don't want to deal with other people's children whenever I'm away from mine, you know? It would just be too stressful. I admire the people who can do it--almost all of the people I work with are women, and some of them have kids that age... gah. Can't even think about it. Brain explodes.

The best thing would be to do what I love most: writing. But I know that it's unlikely. Even if a publisher picks up my book, there's no instant success button. It's a lot of work even after it's published--I have to sell it to everyone. To anyone. I have to be outgoing, and I am naturally very shy. But... I want it so badly. I need to share these ideas that have built up inside of me.

Jaron isn't really sure what he wants yet. I think the biggest problem is the way that school is set up now. Colleges expect students to be "well-rounded" but we just aren't that kind of people. Jaron and I are very much alike, which led to both of us failing at college in the first semester. I kind of quit trying after a very hard teacher made keeping my scholarship impossible. Jaron keeps trying. And finally, he's had a little success, in Japanese.

As for the route he'd have to take in order to become a video game designer, I worry. When he is interested in something, he goes all out... but if it doesn't appeal to him, no amount of trying will amount to any success. He just doesn't fit in the system. His interest is very specific, and he's managed to read entire programming manuals and write scripts for his own little games, but... calculus? film? There's little chance. If he can't be happy doing something, he can't do it at all.

Well... I'm feeling pretty tired. Peace.

-Tsira

Monday, May 9, 2011

Waiting for Feedback

“I didn’t think you would make it,” the thief said, stepping from the shadows. His black hair hung like drapes from a loose ponytail. “You’re clever to have followed me this far. Since you survived the climb, it means you’re either a magician or a death seeker. I’m curious to know which it is I’ll be killing.”

--

I do not like waiting. I've been aching these past few weeks, hoping that people read my book quickly so I can pass it on to the next person. Once my list has been exhausted, I'll finally be able to work out the last few details on my book--but until then, I'm pretty much stuck.

That's why I've been obsessing over a new idea, a sort of sequel, that involves a more political sphere (royalty and such) and a new character I've instantly fallen in love with.

Her name is Rael (said 'rahl'), and she's not like most characters I've ever come up with. She's basically the opposite of everything I stand for... and yet, I absolutely love her already. It's kind of strange, writing a character who loves drinking and gambling and sex. But it's also very exciting to me, to have something totally new going on in my head.

She's not the first "bad" person I've ever fleshed out--sure there's Xisht, and Una (who loves murdering people), but Rael is the first character who has dared tell me to "F*** off." I'm still going to stay away from being profane, since it's generally unnecessary, but I'm definitely excited to argue with her.

Strange? Probably. But I love it.

-Tsira

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Legend of Mura

Octras licked his cracked lips as he studied the ground. The rocks around his feet slipped when he stood. He knew that his shell thief was somewhere in this pass, hiding among the jagged cliffs that jutted out along the face of the mountain. It was an ideal hideout, really. From the road, it was impossible to see any of the caves that existed among the broken cliffs. And the terrain was treacherous; no man was designed to climb the slope. Even as Octras drew breath, the rocks gave way, and he slid down a finger-length. The only way to find sure footing here was to test it.

--

As a fifth-grader, in one outdoor game with my siblings, I came up with a new idea: The Legend of Mura. I came up with the names for it; Jacob was Octras, I was Cira, Liz was Shelja, and Michael was determined to be called Jake. Cira was changed by Jacob to Tsira in a PS2 version of an RPG maker and I thought Shenra was less crazy. Octras ended up being the only character who retained his original name and spelling.

The characters themselves changed over time. Instead of beginning with four people, I decided to introduce Shenra and Jakob later on in the story. Jake's personality probably changed the least, though he's not nearly as whiny now. Shenra was more of the classic Tolkien elf to begin with, but the definition of 'elf' has changed for me, and Shenra has a lot more influence on things than she did. She used to just exist as an extra person good for fighting but leaving when she gets 'home'. Now she actually interacts with the other characters, particularly Octras.

As for the two master characters, they changed a lot. Octras was just the charismatic bodyguard to the hero, but now he is the hero. The story is told exclusively from his point of view. He actually has a whole romantic complex going on behind a lot of the other stuff, and he compares things to his training a lot less. He's less of a caricature. Tsira... well, she was the selfish character who just needed a friend, but now she's something much more.

I still use the name Tsira for almost everything in the virtual world: my email, this blog, my deviantART page, and my gaming name. But I'll make it clear now; the Tsira that is me and the Tsira of my book are completely different people. At one point, they were similar, but both have gone in different directions. While I try to maintain an intelligent persona as she does, the similarity ends there. I am not her anymore. She has her own life.

But the real reason for talking about this is the picture I discovered while going through that stack I told you about. I made this when I was ten.

Behold the original logo in all its pixellated glory: custom drawn (even the text) in Paint.

-Tsira

Monday, May 2, 2011

Old Writing

Tall and elegant, even in fetters, a master thief stood. Her white hair hung to her waist, her dark blue skin standing out among the Metan prisoners. She wore an attitude typical of the Drow--her hands on her hips, all her weight on one leg. She took a few steps toward Octras, stopping only because she reached the length of her chain.

"Octras Jodrije, it has been a long time." She smiled falsely, revealing her sharp canines. "Aren't you going to introduce me to your new keeper?"

He pulled Naki behind him. "Watch your tongue. You're just lucky I haven't hit you yet."

--

I've been searching for a particular script I made about five years ago. I finally found what I was looking for today, but while I was searching I came across a lot of work that I'd completely forgotten about.

I ended up looking through a big stack of artwork and writing, and crashed into my younger self. Yes, crashed. See, I don't think about my childhood very often, and when I do, it's a brief visit. As for my teenage years, I never go there at all. There's a reason for that. Listen to my sixteenth year's voice:

"At times I feel a darkness which surrounds me.
It haunts me in every memory.
Why do I feel like this is real,
Even though I know I'm free?

The shadow creeps inside without a warning.
It feeds on happiness, leaves misery.
I am afraid. I'm lost in the rain,
Drowning in an endless sea."

I think I was always emotional, but when I got to be about fourteen, my fragile little world shattered to pieces, and I wasn't ever able to pick myself up. Regardless, I tried to deal with it alone. I didn't want to talk to other people about it, and they didn't want to hear it. When I finally opened up to someone, their response was this: "Your sadness is a choice. So choose to be happy."

Of course, this only brought more problems for me, because I didn't feel like it was a choice. But because I'd been told that, I was even more determined that I just needed some divine interference and a more positive outlook. Instead I sank deeper and deeper.

I finally went to see a doctor about the dizziness, insomnia and aching, and he gave me a miracle pill: an antidepressant. I was skeptical--a pill that can cure my feelings and make all the other problems just go away? But I took them, and I have been much better ever since.

Anyway, my reason for writing has changed over time. As a child, I wanted to explore my imagination. As a teenager, I wanted to alleviate my pain. And as I am now... I write because I love it. I write because I want to share that love. I write because I want others to know and love the characters and the places that I know and love so dearly.

And I write because I have to.

-Tsira