Summer

I think summers are wonderful, but this one just isn’t really working out for me. Really, last year’s didn’t either. I’ve always seen the summer as a great time to just branch out and do stuff that I can’t do during school, but I actually spent more time both writing and drawing for pleasure during the school year. Go figure (although that may be explained by the fact that a) I’m in a writing program, and writing kinda comes with the territory, and b) I was required to keep a sketchbook for art class, and since I do like drawing well…). I’ve wanted to write more code, like maybe write a video game or something. I KNOW I can write a crappy video game in a month, because I’ve done it before. And I do want to try it again.  But the thing with leaving all the these fantastic plans to the summer is that you really can’t get everything done. I think the summer is really better for either starting or finishing big projects, rather than starting and completing big projects.

I guess some people might disagree with me. But to me, that was a HUGE realization, and it sort of makes sense. I really only have time to start and finish one big project during the summer. And most of the time, I want to do many, many things, like writing a book, or writing and mixing a song, or composing electronic music, or even writing code for a video game. And I’m a multitasker. I suck at getting things finished. It’s a fact in my life. So instead or trying to finish all these things, I just go to summer school and try to finish an entire high school course in like, three weeks. It might seem a bit counter intuitive, but it makes the most sense for me. First of all, that is the only way I am guaranteed not to waste copious amounts of time on the internet for two months. Also, I like the feeling of accomplishing something tangible. Passing a course is not a small feat, and it’s a credit. Also, I despise math, so I usually just try to get that out of the way. But it also gets me into the habit of valuing my time and dividing it up accordingly. Again, I’m a multitasker. School does not prevent me from multitasking.

So now summer school is over, and I’m working on a whole bunch of projects at once. But I’m starting to think about simply getting the projects started. Maybe not finishing them, but I should just pick one, get a huge chunk of it done, and then dabble in the others. Hmmm…

-Rebeeks

On Fiction Writing

Sometimes I don’t understand why, deep inside me, there is still an impulse to write. Why am I doing it? sometimes it actually doesn’t make sense to me. I always start a lot more poems than the number of poems I actually finish; why, I do not know. Or actually, I do know. To me, inspiration is something which is fleeting as the wind. It comes and goes like the wind. Sometimes I wonder how actual writers, real published authors, overcome this. But maybe they don’t. John Green did just go like, at least 3 years without publishing a book.

A few months ago I decided I sucked at story-writing and almost gave it up completely, but I couldn’t. I always tell people I am primarily a non-fiction writer, which is true, and I wear that self-appointed label like a badge of honor. Why shouldn’t I? These days, all people seem to care about is fiction. And I do love fiction as much as the next person, but I love my essays too much. I’m afraid I’m a bit of a literary narcissist. I spend way too much time writing about my life, my experiences, my joy, my sorrow… I know my life is complicated, and I do like giving myself a voice. But I realize there are others, other people, other problems, other complications in this world. I’m just not necessarily qualified to speak of any of them. And so I know the non-fiction genre, unpopular as it is, has a lot to offer. And it has a special place in my heart. But I still find it quite impossible to give up fiction.

Perhaps it is good that I can’t give up fiction, but it does cause me some issues. I am not confident in my ability to make up and tell a good story. At all. The last time I tried, I came up with eight pages of rambling nonsense. And as we all well know, rambling nonsense is not conductive to telling a good story. At all. My characters are flat and there is generally a glaring absence of plot. But for some reason, despite all of this, there is a tiny voice in my head telling me not to give up.

Well, it’s actually not one voice. It’s voices, plural. I swear there are sometimes characters in my brain clamoring for me to tell their stories. I am not making this up. One, it actually drove me crazy for about two weeks, and I was forced to sit down and take extensive notes on this character and her family. I haven’t started telling her story, yet, though. And I think deep down I fear that if I give up fiction, I will irretrievably lose a part of myself, the part of myself that is a storyteller at heart and loves bouncing story ideas off other people. That has been a part of me since my earliest childhood. Where is the confidence I had, back in fourth grade, back when I thought I could write mystery novel? What happened to the sixth grader who thought she could win short story contests? I admit I’m scared. I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of becoming incoherent and messy in my writing again. I hate being messy and incoherent. But what do I do?

For the first time in almost three years, I am writing a story. It may be a short story, it may be a novella, it may be a novel. Who knows? But the effort counts. I am not saying I haven’t written fiction in 3 years. I am saying that I haven’t done it for myself, with passion, with actual belief in what I am doing and the story I am trying to tell, in 3 years. It’s a lot. With that time gap my adventurous self is returning. I am trying new genres; I’m experimenting. I’m going all out. I don’t hate writing fiction. I’m trying to regain the confidence to be able to look past my shitty first drafts, the confidence to even begin those drafts. I hope I find it again, because deep inside, I miss my inner novelist.

On Me and Writing Poetry

I’m in my poetry mode right now, which is such a rare thing for me that I just try to take advantage of it. I mean, I’m a prose writer, which means I do things such as write in paragraphs, not in stanzas; use punctuation properly, such as putting periods at the ends of sentences (and not ending lines without them). Prose also does not have to be poetic or metaphoric (although it can be those things as well) and is generally not a rhythmic style of writing.

Ha. That means the way we usually speak can be considered prose (or if we want to be fancy, dialogue, although dialogue can be in poetry as well). 

When I’m in poetry mode, I generally attempt to rhyme things and binge write poetry, which I really need to be in the right mindset to write. My poems are generally a constant refrain in my mind during that time. I know I’m really in poetry mode when I tend to rhyme my sentences when I speak French. Actually, that it THE key indicator. French is my first language. It’s also a language that I don’t spend much time writing in (and that I never write poetry in). When things in French become rhythmic and start to rhyme, I probably should be using that brain processing power elsewhere.

I also write poetry in a very different way than I write prose. My poems are never free form. They always have some rhythm to them, and most of them rhyme. I spend a lot of ime reading them to myself, and I edit things, and change words on the go. The next stanza is usually not started until the first one is complete. I mull over my phrases even when I’m not writing them. So when a poem is done, it’s done. It’s not getting edited any further. Well, sometimes I do change minor things. Tweaks, really. But rarely.

When I write prose, like essays or stories, I just write for as long as I can and worry about editing later.
So don’t ask me why I don’t edit my poems. I probably spend more time editing them than I spend editing prose. It’s just, I edit them WHILE THEY’RE BEING WRITTEN. Not at the end. (And as you may know, these posts don’t even get edited.)

So that was my rant of the day.

-Rebeeks 

Reflection on School

This has pretty much become my default place to rant about school. That is awesome (no, it isn’t). Ranting is just something I do, I guess. It’s my default mode. None of the posts on this blog are edited. Here, I kind of just write. I mean, all the practice you can get is good, right?

I don’t know why I even bother to call myself a writer. I’m a terrible writer. Every time I sit down to write something I spend more time thinking about writing than actually writing. I know my first drafts suck. A lot of them do. Quite a few of turn out nice. Mine?
I don’t know. I don’t really know what to compare it to. Do I find out tomorrow?

Here I am, talking about being in Lit again. This seems to be my favourite thing to write about. Maybe it’s because it’s different. Because I don’t know what else to expect. I don’t know what people think of Lit kids. I feel like no one really knows what to make of us. Hell, I don’t know what to expect. It’s not exactly like an English class. That’s what I love about it. But that’s also what throws me off. You don’t take English with the same 25 people for 4 years. Life doesn’t work like that. A lot of English classes don’t involve much creative writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love creative writing. It holds a special place in my heart. But sometimes, you just can’t deal with the uncertainty that comes with creating something — weaving a story from bits and pieces and snapshots of life mixed with a generous dose of your imagination. You don’t know where to go. There is no set format, there are no rules. There is no black or white, only shades in between.
But when you put it this way, it sounds like it’s difficult to tell the good writing from the bad writing. And sometimes, it is.

Sometimes you don’t know why a story seems off, but you just know that it is. It drives me nuts. Crazy. Half the time I just abandon the story and do something else. Then I look at it a few years later, think about how crappy it is, and don’t do anything about it. Honestly, essays are a lot easier to write. And I enjoy writing essays, most of the time. But the issue with essays is that the structure tends to be a little (more like a lot) rigid. You can’t take an essay in an interesting direction, most of the time. There is a subject. Stick to it! Whereas stories have plots and subplots and plots twists and you have to keep track of them and keep them logical and believable or else the reader gets mad. Essays? Intro ,point one, point two, point three, conclusion. That is how a lot of essays are formatted. It’s very formal. It’s a formula you can follow and get results every time–as long as you follow the formula properly.

The lazy part of me loves this. So does the debater in me. But there is another part of me that actually hates this. It’s the part of me that demands change and individuality and original thinking. Listening to 5 of 6 essays is boring–most of them tend to sound the same. Listening to 5 or 6 stories is never boring. Sometimes it gets annoying, but that may be because the story is bad or because you don’t like it. But usually people people stick around even if it’s just to complain and rant about how bad it is later.

So  here I am, still thinking about the damn story that I want to write. i have ideas, but I don’t feel like putting then onto paper. I wonder if I should write one page of it everyday and see what kind of useless crap I can come up with.
Did I mention that I have a total lack of imagination?
Having a total lack of imagination is totally detrimental to me. I’m sure some people will say otherwise about my ability to put things together. I don’t think they’re right.

The issue is that I’ve never spent so much time working on a single piece, other than my portfolio for the program. (BTW, my portfolio totally sucked.) It’s different. I don’t know if it’s good different or bad different.

Pros

  • I get to spend more time making the writing perfect
  • I have to more time to ask for opinions
  • It means that if halfway through, I decide to completely change directions with my story, I have time to figure it out
  • More time for editing
  • I can bounce ideas off of people
  • I have time for tweaks

    Cons

    • I spend too much time worrying about perfection
    • Sometimes I get confused by certain opinions
    • uhhhhh

    Okay. I guess the pros outweigh the cons. Now what?
    I guess I should just stop complaining.

    -Rebeeks

    Who Would Voluntarily Take the Beep Test?

    I would. Unfortunately.

    We all hate the beep test. It’s a bad indication of your overall fitness. It’s pointless. It’s dumb. It’s stupid. But yet, we all want to do better at the beep test. Do better than others. Be the best. I think it’s a ego thing. Or a hatred of failure, which would most likely be completely accurate. But I am not immune to this.(And I want to stop failing it at school, which would definitely up my Phys. Ed. mark.) So what did I do? I set up a 15m version of the beep test in my basement. Crazy, I know.

    I’ve kind of surprised myself. I’m surprised that I actually went to the trouble of measuring. I’m surprised that I actually intend to use it. And I’m embarrassed that my younger brother did better than me on my first trial run. (He got level 12.4. I got level 6.5.) So yeah. Practice. Definitely. Before I fait it at school.
    Why do I have to be the most unathletic kid on the planet? This isn’t fair. I guess life isn’t fair. But I already knew that.

    In addition to being terrible at the beep test, I’m also bad at shuttle runs, the pyramid challenge, the 9/12 minute run, really anything that involves running for a long time, and yeah. tt lot of other stuff. And Ilm terrible at every sport. Like really bad. Except for Maybe soccer. And sprints. I think I might actually be mildly okay (read: not the worst) at those.

    So yeah. I guess I’m practising the beep test every day now. Oh, what did I just get myself into?
    -Rebeeks

    God, How I Hate Apple. And Steve Jobs. Even though he’s dead.

    Steve Jobs was an idiot. Yes, a very smart idiot. But an idiot none the less. Did I mention that when he first invented the iPhone, he patented the design for a black rectangular phone? Yeah, I think he wanted monopoly over smartphones. We all know that smartphones can’t be circular. Or hexagonal. 0r triangular. Well, at least they can’t be if you actually want to be able to HOLD the phone! Yeah, I’m sorry, but we haven’t actually invented the technology for floating smartphones yet. Yeah. Not that it would even be practical. And let’s just say that a square phone would be a bad idea as well.

    I have a feeling Steve Jobs had exactly that in mind when he filed the patent. Small steps towards world domination, people. Small steps.
    (And if you’re wondering why I say things like that, remember, I’m a conspiracy theorist. Just like… keep that in mind.)

    Jobs was also a jerk. And an idiot. Did I mention that he was an idiot? Let’s see… Every once in a while he got mad and threw pens at employees who ticked him off, sometimes fired them, called people idiots in public, uninvited some guy from a top 100 employee meeting WHILE THEY WERE ON THE BUS FOR THE MEETING because he got mad at him during a meeting, and oh, pretended that he wasn’t sick for a while. Until he died.

    (The way I see it, Steve was just like, “I have cancer? Nooo… Don’t tell anyone anything. I am not sick. NO, shut up, I AM NOT SICK! Yeah, I’ll just see an acupuncturist for a while… and drink herbal tea… and refuse to do the surgery that will save my life! Meanwhile, I am NOT SICK!!” Yeah. Just… yeah.)

    So yeah. He was so idiotic that he basically killed himself. Not that I care or anything… I mean, good riddance to bad rubbish. The only problem is, he left Apple behind. Crap.
    You know, Steve Jobs was really good at brainwashing people. And he’s dead now. But the people down at Apple are still pretty good at brainwashing people. Not as good as before, yes. But good enough.
    So now I have to deal with the company’s lingering influence. I mean, sorry Apple, but your glory days are over. But why does NO ONE agree with me!
    (Just checking.)

    Do you know how many people committed suicide while making iPhones? Yeah, the Chinese suppliers aren’t too fond of Apple. Neither are the other suppliers. Because, the truth is, working with Apple is basically an invitation to go bankrupk the day they pick another company. Or even just when their sales go down. (The iPhones aren’t as popular as they used to be, eh? Haha. And let’s see, they wrecked the MacBook Pro by removing the CD drive, created an ultra-thin laptop that no sane person will buy, and then released a $1400 tablet that they ruined by making the stylus unaffordable. The Apple Pencil costs $130? Hmm… what’s my advice? Guys, DON’T FREAKING BUY IT!) Then they will force you tu shut down a full factory to prevent loss of trade secrets. A nightmare! And for once, that’s a fact, not just my biased opinion.

    Did I mention that Apple once orchestrated an ebook price raise? Did they forget to tell you that it’s illegal? These people are seriously trying to control the economy. They’ve managed to pollute it. A lot. And don’t get me started on the OS. iOS is inferior to Android in so many ways…

    For you beloved Apple fans (well, I do think you’re stupid) I’ll stop writing this article. You’ll never understand its brilliancy. You’re probably contesting it line by line… Well, anyways have fun with your inferior devices. Have fun paying for your overpriced crap. (Paying for email storage? Really? How much do you even get in the first place.) And don’t say I didn’t warn you.
    -Rebeeks

    Ugh… School Starts Once again

    School has started again, and (unfortunately) I have started at a new school. School is boring. It’s not my idea of fun. I hate school. Why can’t we have another few weeks of vacation right now. This is pretty much the end of September, and I’m still not settled in. Oh, well…

    I met another blogger today. Well, she’s in my class actually, so I met her 3 weeks ago but only found out that she blogs today. I found that kind of weird I thought I was the only blogger my age… She was just like, I only have about 60 followers, but I think it might actually have more because she’s been nominated for so many awards!(Not fair) But then, she’s actually been serious about blogging, unlike me. How does she find time! Am I the only blogger who has this problem? Okay, I’m going to start blogging once a week now. I envy her patience. How does she do it? (If you are reading this, I hope you won’t take it the wrong way…)

    We’re starting a project in French class called Genius Hour. You basically get to pick what you want to do, so in my case, I’m going to learn Java, which is a type of computer code. Computer code is awesome. Well, when you know how to read and write it. It might be really hard to do, but I’ll trudge through it. And then I can write awesome programs. Yay!