Self care is so important and I thought it would be a great idea to put something together to brighten your day. Self care means different things to different people, but basically self care is taking some time for yourself and doing something you love. Make sure to shower, eat, drink water, unplug from social media, and get in touch with loved ones if you need to.
The Self Care Kit I put together has cute animal pictures, book quotes, and three colouring pages. Special thanks to Lauren for letting me use her bookish images. Download the kit below and enjoy!
Welcome to the fourth post in a blog series about my manuscript! Basically every month I write about the progress I've made on my WIP (work in progress). If you missed the first three you can find the first here, the second here, and the third here.
So, December wasn’t fun. Like, at all. I basically dealt with the whole Nevernight stuff the entire time. This impacted on my health and all my projects, including this manuscript. Despite such a trying time, December 2016 was good in terms of how much writing I did. I added another 10 000 words to my WIP and crossed into the weird realm where I have enough for a novella, but there’s still a lot of work to do.
My main goal in December was to take what I already had and revamp it. Previously three minor characters (Joe, Stephen, and Regan) weren’t in the book that much even though they play a big role in the story. I had to give them more scenes and in the process, I found out so much about them and totally fell in love with them, especially Joe. One of the things I learned was that Joe and Stephen are a couple. Sometimes people say that characters take on a life of their own and with Joe and Stephen I think that is the case. They’re super adorable together especially since Joe is the calm one and Stephen is not so calm. Speaking of Joe, one thing I want to do with them is make sure that they don’t appear to be emotionless. Joe is agender and I asked one of my non-binary friends about Joe’s portrayal and they said to make sure that Joe isn't just a "robot". I took that on and I’m working on that. Also, Regan’s name changed from Tegan to Regan. I accidentally wrote her name as Regan once and the name has stuck.
Along with adding scenes scenes to what I'd already written, I wrote some new chapters. I outlined this book last year because there’s a lot happening off and on screen (which is a lot of juggle) and exploring the story on the page has been interesting to say the least.
On Twitter, I did an entire thread on my manuscript. It was a whole “One Like = One Fact About My WIP” thing and I ended up with sixty facts about my WIP! I didn’t even think that many people would be interested, but I really enjoyed writing it and seeing the response. You can check out the entire thread here if you’re interested.
Also the current name for the project is "Nameless". I named it that as a joke, because I couldn't think of a name and the antagonist doesn't have a name (yet). It's stuck so far, but hopefully I end up with a better title for it than that.
Basically, this book is shaping up to be more than just a half a dozen chapters and a few vague thoughts about where the whole thing is going to end up. I hope you’ll stick with me while I work through it. I really want to finish this and put something out there worth reading.
Chapters – 15 (including the Prologue)
Word Count – 31 095
Most Useful Research Article – N/A
Okay so if you haven't been following along with this series check out the first and second post and then read this post. Basically I've been writing blogs at the end of every month with a wrap up of the work I've done on my manuscript. If you want to know more about my WIP, check out my first post.
November was hectic. I had final assignments and an exam to do. My sister had only just returned from NZ after an accomodation problem so getting her back and readjusting to having her home didn't help my stress levels. Looking back I think I coped well considering how much stress I was under.
Once uni was all over I was thrown into the middle of NaNoWriMo which is not the best place to be, but I had words under my belt already and all the time in the world so I thought writing more would be easy. Turns out getting back into writing is not easy, especially considering I have a magazine to run and other side projects I'm working on.
However, I did get a little bit done. I reworked the beginning of my WIP by adding a few scenes and I added a prologue. It doesn't sound like much, but what I added helps establish the world and the characters. Plus I really want to contrast the beginning with the end in terms of where the characters are and how different things are.
Anyway, I wanted to share these aesthetics I did the other day (when I was sick) because they're amazing. These made me think more about my characters and helped establish some of the more underdeveloped ones.
A few bits of info (that aren't in the two previous posts in this series):
You can find more character aesthetics here. I'll be adding information (including some of what's in this post) to the page sometime this month.
Here's to another month of writing and getting things done.
Chapters - 12 (including the Prologue)
Word Count - 20 459
Most Useful Research Article - N/A
One of my projects for uni was to put together ten photographs that tell a story. We had to use the work of others for inspiration and the knowledge we're learned over the semester to put together the concept, take photographs, and edit them. This may sound easy, but it wasn't. I only learned how to use a camera this year and going into this unit I still had so much to learn.
I had many problems with this project including (but not limited to):
Despite these problems, I think they turned out great. Perspective is about how beautiful and dangerous our natural environment can be; that is just because flora and fauna look beautiful, it doesn't mean that they aren't more than that; we exist in a complex world.
I took aspects of different types of photography and combined them with the look of the model to communicate that theme. My photographs aren't perfect, but I like them and I hope you do too.
This is the second in a new series of blogs about my WIP. Please check out the first one before reading this one.
Ready? Okay. I'm in the last part of the semester (and I have stuff for Mookychick and Koru Mag to do), so this month I've been getting some research done. I started first with this article by Malinda Lo - A Beginner's Guide to Researching Your Diverse* Fantasy or Science Fiction Novel. It gives the reader a guide to researching starting from looking at basic information to delving deeper. I know we need diverse books, but how can I portray experiences that are different to my own?
This answer begins with research. I read as much as I could and found a few useful sites which include general information and specific personal experiences. The resources I found the most useful was when people of that minority wrote (from their perspective) about how to write a person like them. Some useful sites include DiversifYA, Writing With Color, and Disability In Kidlit. Also specific articles I found useful was this post about deaf people, this post about Filipino people, and this post on describing skin tone.
I still have a bit of work to do, including reading YA #ownvoices books and talking to people about their experiences, but I think I'm on the right track!
I'll be partially participating in NaNoWriMo (that is after uni is over for the semester), and I hope to get a good chunk of words done. My goal is to write every day (starting on the 15th of November). I'm not aiming to get to the 50 000 word mark, I just want to get something done.
Chapters - 9
Word Count - 16 078
Most Useful Research Article - theo-rp makes a guide: writing D/deaf/HoH characters
Welcome to the first in what will hopefully be a series of blogs where I'll discuss the progress I'm making on my work in progress (WIP). As this is the first blog, I wanted to talk to you about my WIP in general and the purpose of these blogs. At the end of this blog I'll include how many chapters I've written (full and partial), the word count, and the most useful article I've read while researching this WIP.
The project I'm working on is about Marama who is Maori and a demi-human. Marama lives in the Middle World between the world of the living and world of the dead. She is in training to be a Guardian, someone who protects humans from demons and spirits; she also helps keep the peace between different types of demons. The main conflict is the balance being tipped in the middle world, which causes havoc (such as "bad" demons becoming more powerful and "good" demons becoming weaker), demi-humans going missing in the middle world, and an old war reigniting.
My WIP includes Marama who is Maori and bisexual, Taylor who is Filipino and deaf, and an Indian non-binary and agender person called Joe. All of the demons in this WIP are genderless in the same way the Gems in Steven Universe are just Gems.
Among exploring the various identities of my characters and looking at characters who aren't inherently good or evil, I want to explore how I see my tīpuna (ancestors) through Marama and how she sees her tipuna (ancestor) who she is named after.
My main inspirations for this WIP are Steven Universe and The Legend of Korra. For the former, I like how sexuality and gender are represented. For the latter, I'm interested in how The Legend of Korra portrays villains that have solid and understandable motivations for what they're doing.
I want these blogs to be a place where I can talk about what writing and/or research I've done for my WIP. I want to hold myself accountable for the work, or lack of work, I've done on my WIP. I really want to finish this WIP because it's the closest manuscript that I've ever written to who I am as a person. I plan on releasing one blog a month, but since I have uni and work to do for Koru Mag, I'm not sure how doable that is.
So join me as I embark on this adventure. Feel free to tweet me and ask me how I'm going with my WIP or just to cheer me on. I'll definitely need the latter.
Chapters - 9
Word Count - 16 078
Most Useful Research Article - A Beginner's Guide to Researching Your Diverse* Fantasy or Science Fiction Novel by Malinda Lo
I've been writing since I was 15 and since then I've found that I have criteria for what music I listen to while I write. Ideally, it should:
Though these are labelled, they're not really in a particular order. These are just a handful of my favourites.
8 - Deep Sea Ranch from Ponyo
This song is from one of my favourite movies, Ponyo. It helps me concentrate because it's light and magical. I listened to this song to keep me calm when I was on a plane (heading to New Zealand), and it was taking off. I'll always remember being in the air, listening to this song, and looking down as the earth fell away beneath me.
The song makes up the first two minutes of this video, but I highly recommend listening to the entire thing.
7 - A Window to the Past from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite Harry Potter movie. When I was a teen and feeling low, I'd watch this movie. This movie was (and sometimes still is) my lumos and patronus charm.
6 - Sho's Lament (Instrumental Version) from Arrietty
This song is from another favourite film of mine, Arrietty. I love this song because it reminds me of that movie and one of the main characters, Sho.
There's a version of this song with lyrics, but I find it easier to concentrate without them. I get distracted from my writing if a song has lyrics, and I end up singing to the song instead of writing.
5 - One Summers Day from Spirited Away
The piano is one of my favourite instruments, I even used to play the piano when I was a kid. I love the live version of this song in particular because it really shows off this instrument and the passion behind playing it.
I especially love this song because it's from Spirited Away which, you guessed it, is one of my favourite movies. It's the first Studio Ghibli movie I watched, and I fell in love with it.
4 - Night Mist by Adrian von Ziegler
This song is twenty minutes of instrumental music, and it's a bit repetitive, but it has helped me write because it's relaxing. What really makes this song great is the storm and rain foley, which I find soothing.
3 - Love Like You from Steven Universe
Even though this song has lyrics, it's mellow enough for me to write to. Plus I adore Steven Universe so it has that personal pull.
2 - Lucy Meets Mr Tumnus
As you may know, I love the Chronicles of Narnia movies especially The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Listening to this song gives me those warm and fuzzy feelings.
1 - Cave Of No Mind from Howl's Moving Castle
If any song deserves to be number one, it's this song. It has more depth and darkness than the other songs on this list. This song is from my favourite scene in Howl's Moving Castle and is also my favourite score from a movie soundtrack. It's just one of those songs that has so much emotion and feeling that I can't help but love it.
There are many other great songs I listen to when I write, but these have are my favourite because they are all personal to me. Without that personal connection, they wouldn't have had as much of an impact on me as they do.
I'm just popping by to let you know about my new project - Koru Mag. It's an online literary and art magazine that will be published every four months. We're currently accepting submissions for our first issue. We accept fiction, non-fiction, poetry and digital art. Our issues are themed so please check our submission guidelines before submitting anything to us. Submissions close on the 31st of July so make sure to get your work in by that date.
Koru Mag is relatively new so please support us by following us on facebook, twitter and tumblr. You can also subscribe to our blog posts and our newsletters.
If you have any questions, please message us on facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I know, I'm overdue for a blog post. I don't post here a lot, but I'm pretty active on social media. I even joined Instagram a few months ago. There I post about two of my favourite things: books and food.
However, I haven't posted here in awhile. I've been busy with uni these past few months (and a Secret Project, which I'll hopefully be able to share with you soon). I'm double majoring in English and Creative Writing and Screen Production so it's been a lot of work.
For my Screen Production major I had to do a hands-on unit, and one of my assignments was to make a 1.5 minute short film. I've written manuscripts and short stories before, but filmmaking is a completely different. I've been doing this writing thing since 2007/2008, so I know a lot about writing and the publishing side of things. But with filmmaking, I was dropped right back at the start of the learning process. With my writing, I can just write, but filmmaking involves so much more. Just learning how to use the camera was a difficult (and continual) process.
The end product of this hard work is my short film, Ash.
Ash is about a girl who is trapped in the Grey World by a witch known as The Woman. It's about isolation, loneliness, but it's also about how Ash saves herself. I put a lot of work into this. I wrote, directed, filmed and edited everything. While it was difficult, I like how it turned out. I hope you enjoy it.
Studio Ghibli have been enchanting us with their stories since 1986 when they released Castle in the Sky. Since then they've put out masterpieces like Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle and My Neighbour Totoro. Everyone who has seen all (or at least most) of the Ghibli films (like me) have their favourite films and while mine shift and change over time, these films are currently my top eight.
#8 My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
This list wouldn't be complete without My Neighbour Totoro. This film is about the resilience of children and how imagination can be the best way to escape a difficult situation. Sometimes all we need is a Totoro to take us away from our lives for a little while.
#7 Ponyo (2008)
Ponyo is a beautiful film about a fish that yearns to be human. Ponyo and her friend Sosuke are adorable children and they do whatever is takes to stay together. One of the things I love about Studio Ghibli films is that there are many platonic relationships between friends where the main duo help each other to achieve their goals. This is one of my favourite examples because it shows you can have two different gendered characters who don't have any romantic feelings for each other but who help each other over the course of the film.
#6 Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Whisper of the Heart centers on fourteen year old Shizuku Tsukishima as she falls in love with writing and her new friend, Seiji Amasawa. Though I love Ponyo and My Neighbour Totoro, Whisper of the Heart is higher on the list because the main character is a writer. Seeing Shizuku try her hand at writing for the first time, and becoming so incredibly enthralled in the process, reminds me a lot of myself at her age when I started writing. It's a nostalgic trip and incredibly relatable to me.
#5 The Wind Rises (2013)
Ghibli films don't reflect the world as it is, they show they world as it feels to us. The Wind Rises is a prime example of this. This is especially evident when Jiro (the main character) is in the process of creating his fighter plane designs. You are pulled into his thought process and you can feel what he feels as in the process of creating his designs.
Aside from that this film is a touching story about striving for your dreams, understanding the full effect your creations will have and, of course, love.
#4 From Up On Poppy Hill (2011)
Umi is just a teenage girl, but with her father deceased and her mother in America, she must take care of her family and the boarders who live in her house. Umi is definitely a strong character who carries the heavy burden of being the guardian of her family at such a young age. She years for her mother to come home and her father to be alive, but for the most part she has to go through this part of her life alone.
At its heart From Up On Poppy Hill is about family and wanting things that seem unreachable.
#3 When Marnie Was There (2014)
The first time I saw When Marnie Was There I cried. A lot. The main character, Anna, is an introverted girl who is *SPOILER* helped to move past her problems by the memory of her deceased grandma, Marnie. All but one of my grandparents have passed away. I'd give anything to meet them at my age, as Anna meets Marnie, and have them help me like Marnie helped Anna.
This is why When Marnie Was There will always be one of my favourite films. I'll never be able to see my deceased grandparents, but this film feels as close to that as possible.
#2 Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Sophie is one of those protagonists that is instantly relatable. She's quiet, introverted and completely unaware of her inner strength. I love the dynamics between Sophie and Howl and every time I watch this movie it's touching to see Sophie grow and utilize the strength that she has.
Howl's Moving Castle will always have a place in my heart.
#1 Spirited Away (2001)
The first Studio Ghibli film I saw was Spirited Away. The story is timeless and I've written many of my stories to films the soundtrack. It's one of those films that you can fall in love with each time you watch it and find new things in the movie that you missed last time you watched it.
The thing I love the most about this story is the platonic love between Chihiro and Haku that will bind them together even when they are far apart.
Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: email@example.com