Week 4

The challenge to read L’Orientalisme by Edward W. Said has given me a swift kick up the bottom! However, in reaching for the difficult goal to read it, I am now able to browse the adult fiction section in the library. The last time I took a book from this section, I did finish the book but I understood nothing. It took a couple of chapters to realize that the storm they kept going on about was actually a characters name. That is how lost I was.

I took out the second book of the Mistborn series, Le Puits De L’Ascension is the French title (The Well of Ascension), by Brandon Sanderson. I am very happy to report that I understand quite a bit of it. I love being able to measure my improvement in the language. Each night, I read a page or two out loud to help with pronunciation and speed. My biggest problem with speaking French is that I go way too fast. French is all about the syllables. You must pronounce each syllable precisely. In English, you can get away with not pronouncing all of the syllables, and we also put emphasis on certain syllables, but rarely does each syllable get the same amount of attention. English is a much faster language than French. Reading the French out loud helps me to slow down my speech, to sound out each syllable separately.

I have a subscription to Poets & Writers, I have decided to not continue my subscription with them. I found it much too focused on MFA programs. Nearly all of the writers that are in it come from one of these programs. I get that these programs are sponsors to the magazine, however as a writer who hasn’t and does not plan to go down the programs and courses in writing pathway, it gets boring quickly. It makes me feel like I cannot be a writer without doing a course of some sort. I am a writer, I am learning as I go. I have done my years in college, and I have no plan to go back. Workshops, if I had a chance to do one, I would do it. I do not want to read a magazine that makes me feel less like a writer because I do not have a piece of paper saying I completed a course.

The magazine goes into depth on writers themselves, their processes and their experiences. It can be fascinating, of course, who doesn’t like looking how other people do things? I always look through the windows that I pass. It is not something I will read once a month, more like once a year.

I am grateful for it because now I know what I want in a magazine. I took a subscription out on The Moth, an Irish magazine. It has stories and poetry, I double checked. My goal this year is to get a short story published, that is my out of reach goal. The possible goal is to apply as many times as I can afford to. To do this I need to know how others have done it. I also want to pay those writers because I want to be paid too. It is six Euro every three months. I am waiting on tender hooks for my first magazine.

Guess what went to the wayside?

I changed the settings to payment for each piece I put up instead of per month. I have downsized my goal four articles per month to two articles per month. The writing of these articles takes way more out of me than I thought they would.

No followers or patrons yet, apparently, I have to be a patron to someone before I can expect others to be my patron. Which sounds odd, basically I have to give money that I don’t have to support someone else to get money off of them. Will they not be paying for my subscription of their work? We shall see how it ends up.

I’ve learned from both Twitter and WordPress that it takes a long while to get going, so I’ll be patient.

I have been neglectful to the blogs I follow the last few weeks. Last week I spent a couple of hours going through my email account commenting and liking on posts. I like the feeling of camaraderie I get from my WordPress blog. It could all be make believe, the online world blurs the line of reality. Are your online friends truly your friends?

I love seeing the little orange circle on my WordPress account, and it is for that that I comment, unlike others. I only comment when I genuinely have something to say.
The last few weeks I haven’t been in the right mood so I didn’t do it. That left me with thirty-six emails to go through. I will be trying to avoid that happening again!

And on to the important news!

I did the map for the first village in Death’s Valley. I took screenshots of Google maps, opened it with Photoshop (finally my six years of art college come in handy!) And manipulated it to create my own map.

It is really starting to take shape in my head, on paper, and in my boyfriend’s head. The poor man has to sift through my excited and therefore incoherent chatterings of my world. He does very well though and always manages to say clearly what I had sputtered disjointedly at him.

With the map, I should be able to work out the populations and begin to do character sketches of the village itself.

I submitted a short story into a competition. Actually going about doing it is daunting. I kept making excuses, kept putting off working on it. Honestly, I think that deadline is the reason behind my slump these last few weeks. I have been working away but not to my old productivity. I do not like being the center of attention, I want to duck and hide. Writing is fantastic for me because it is the characters who are center stage, not me. However, when submitting work, it is how I present myself as a writer that will first make the other person look my way and read my story.

The only way I will get better is by doing, and that’s what made me submit. It is only a failure if I get mad at them for not accepting my story. It is something I can learn and grow from by staying positive, by thanking moving onto the next competition. By improving.

This week
Write the next Patreon post! Seriously Lilly, write it down in your notebook, that’s it.
Continue reading The Well of Ascension.
Beat off the flu that is developing.
Work on Death’s Valley checklist.
Pick out a new short story to work on.

That’s it, I’m done for this week and for the month of January. Good luck to you all and thank you for reading.


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