Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The 30-hour Novel Challenge

Kernel Mag recently threw a challenge I could not resist. The challenge was to write a novel over the weekend of 26th and 27th Jan in 30 hours.

Sounds crazy? Well, it kinda is.

I took this opportunity to write an idea I had while waiting for a bus. It was raining heavily and I just finished reading a book from A Song of Ice and Fire series. Having nothing to do, while the bus home took forever to arrive at the central station, I began to let my imagination run. After it went all over the place, I developed a story called 'Raindrops'.

I knew I was not going to write this story anytime soon because... well... I had my second novel to finish (which I managed to complete on the 25th of Jan, within 20 days). 

So, when I saw this challenge, I decided to go for it. This was my chance to write Raindrops, and I did.

Raindrops was written in 23 hours, and has 20,462 words. It came about with little sleep, backaches, sore eyes, and aching wrists. And it was a novella that really pushed me to the limits.

I have to thank Kernal Mag for having such a crazy idea. This was a test of skill, perseverance, and passion.

There was a total of 122 submissions out of the 367 registered participants. And I was one of them! Hmm... I might have been the first to submit, or maybe the first few. 

Anyways, the winner and a few others will/might be published by Harper Collins. And as an author, this might be my big break! But before that ever happens, there will be a public voting process, and I would definitely need all my subscribers to help me out :)

When the voting starts, I will publish a post on my writer's blog, so be sure to visit that blog out! My written works are all there, and if you're some random blogger who loves stories, please do pay it a visit.

Personally, I do hope that there's another challenge like this some time soon. I will be joining the Scholastic Book Award Asia this year, but that competition ends in October, so before that, I actually can join another one.

As a writer, I would encourage other writers to put their skills out for the test. Win or lose, it does not matter. A writer must seize every opportunity to grow, and what better way than through competitions.

This 30-hour novel challenge has really taught me a lot, and I hope that it will be a stepping stone for me to become better!

So, the next time you come across something as crazy as such, tell yourself your passion is crazier. With that mindset, you'll always see yourself growing :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

To Forgive or Not To Forgive

Today, I have asked myself this question too many times to count.

I struggled with the idea of forgiving someone who hurt me, as I thought they did not deserve my forgiveness until they apologized. But then I realized, I MUST forgive.

When someone hurts you, its like they have driven a stake into your chest. To forgive them you have to pull it out; leaving the stake in would only bleed you to death. But pulling it out would be extremely painful.

Today, someone drove a stake into my chest. I know this someone well, and I have been hoping this person would back me up in my dreams even though it may seem rather far fetched. But today, this person told me I have no talent and skill, and I do not write well. Ouch*

This person actually said that I'm not a good writer, when the people I do not know actually told me I have talent and skill. These strangers I call my readers (1,100 of them, base on my writer's blog) have faith in my writing skills. BUT this person, this person I trusted, does not think the same.

Can you imagine how sharp and thick that stake was?

I was angry and hurt. I wanted to hate this person because of what this person said. Sure, their statement is rather invalid as this person has not read any of my recent works. This person read my first novel, which I wrote 2 years ago, and that was it. Do you know that one can progress a lot in 2 years? I have asked this person to read my latest stories, but this person refused. So clearly, this person has no right to judge.

But this does not make it easier to forgive. In fact, it makes it harder.

So, being that I really wanted to pull the stake out of my chest, I asked God to help. And he reminded me of something.

When Christ was on the cross, he told God to forgive those who hurt him because they did not know what they were doing. Similarly, I decided to follow after Christ and forgive this person for this person did not know what they were saying.

If Christ could forgive those who whipped him, crowned him with thorns, drove nails into his palms, and most of all, called him names and did not believe in him, THEN I should be able to do the same to the person who intentionally or unintentionally decided to be mean for that split second.

I'll have to always remember that if God can forgive so much, I should be able to forgive too!

Anyways, the troubling day is about to end, and the horrid feeling in my soul has been choking my writing abilities, but now that I have decided to forgive, I think I can write better.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm Not Ready Until He's Strong

Note: I never intended this blog to be running on a christian theme, but my life involves lessons and most of them are from God.

Anyways, about the title.

I have actually learned a lot in 2012 in the area of relationships, not just friendships but boy/girl relationships.

And what I realized was that I'm not ready. I'm not ready until I find a guy who is strong. Not only in physical strength (duh), but in spiritual strength.

You see, if I find someone who is not strong, I won't have anyone to go to when I'm weak (aside from God). I want to be able to count on him to guide me, teach me, and protect me. I want him to be ahead and in the lead.

As a christian, I know the enemy pays special attention to me in hopes to bring me down. He would find every possible way to weaken my walls and torch my city. Because I carry a voice for God, he won't stop finding opportunities.

If I start a relationship with someone who does not have much of a strength, how can he defend me against the shooting arrows and the flying boulders that come my way? That's no prince charming, that's prince running.

I am not afraid to say that my kingdom has weak walls, and unknown underground passageways, but when I find someone, I want to be able to share the battles with him and vice versa.

Like an alliance between kingdoms to help one another in a time of war, you would not make an alliance with a weak kingdom would you? If you do, be prepared to fight harder because your backup would not be of much help. They would probably arrive late as well.

So, I have made up my mind. I am not ready until I find someone who is strong.

I won't sign an alliance until I have seen the army.