Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Skeptic

I wrote my first novel in 2011. That was 3 years ago. I am pretty sure my style of writing has improved and I probably write much better than I did before. That being said, I am not sure if my first novel stands a chance in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.

Why do I say that?

Because that novel was not written by the current me, the me that has 3 years of daily practice and the me that has grown in skill. It was written by the ‘lousier’ me.

I am still submitting my novel for the award, but I have a feeling I would not go far in their qualifying rounds. Does this mean my first novel sucks? No… I don’t think it sucks.

Those who have read it said it was a good first novel, one said it inspired them to chase their dreams, a few parents of younger readers said their children devoured the book in one sitting, one stayed up all night to finish it, and the comments on Authonomy were positive. Still… I doubt. I’m skeptical.

I guess it’s a good thing to be skeptical; I won’t feel sad if I don’t qualify. No expectations, no disappointments. But then there’s this little voice in my head that says doubting myself is not good. I should put an expectation on it because I should be proud of my work. 

I was 20 when I wrote it, I did not receive warm hugs and encouragements when I was writing it, and lets be honest here, there were only a small number of people who believed I was a good enough writer back then. So finishing a novel, self-publishing it, and selling about 250 copies, should amount to something… right?

Well, I don’t know. I’m just not confident but I’ll wait and see. I’m still hoping my newer works would place in the finals for the Scholastic Asian Book Awards and the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Maybe I could win a placing in the StoneThread SpecFic Short Story Contest too?

With all that’s being said, do check out my first novel here. It doesn’t suck, trust me. How I feel about my novel is how a lot of authors feel about theirs. We all lose confidence from time to time, but we never stop loving our works and believing it is worth your reading time!  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Organizing My Writing Plans

I’m only writing this to organize my thoughts. It’s not really interesting to read, unless you want to know my writing plans for this year.

So here it goes, my 2014 writing plans:

#1 Publish Raindrops novella in March
#2 Publish The Battle For Oz: Book 1 novelette in June/July
#3 Release The Battle For Oz: Book 2 to beta readers in August
#4 Run edits for The Slave Prince novel from May to October
#5 Write Bonfire, either a novella or a novelette, in August
#6 If all goes well, publish The Slave Prince in December

I wrote The Slave Prince in January 2013 and I’m really hoping to get it out. The only problem I have is having other works to look at and edit, and I tend to pay attention to the shorter works first. 

Let me just say that self-publishing is not easy. I thank God for giving me designer friends who would freely design covers for me, and beta readers who give good feedback and spot errors, but everything else I have to do myself. Copy editing and proofreading is the worst! And lets not forget marketing... though I rarely do that. Haha!

So wish me all the best! I need it.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Reason For Science Fiction

I normally do not review books and I’m not going to in this post, but what I’m going to write about has to do with a book and why I love it.

That very book… is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

I first picked up the book after watching the film because I was curious to know more about Ender himself. And let me just say, I have no regrets. Ender’s story was better in the books with more internal conflicts, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. After finishing the book, I went on a hunt for the other books in the Ender Saga just to read more of him (he’s now my new fictional crush).

That being said, I did not pick up Earth Unaware (a spin off in the same universe) because of Ender… I picked up Earth Unaware because of the author.

You see, the moment I started reading Ender’s Game, something stuck on me. What seemed like glue was actually the fluidity of words that told Ender’s story. Orson Card has this seamless style of writing that connects word to word like water particles invisible to the eye. His sentences are so smooth, it reads like a shiny glaze on top of a cake. The moment you read the first line, you find yourself gliding down a slippery slope, flipping one page after another effortlessly. His style is amazing, and I know others think highly of it too, as he has won awards to prove his impressive skill and talent.

Honestly, I have never bragged about an author's style in my years as a reader… maybe because none before has impressed me this way. But I brag where bragging is needed, and I wish I could write as seamlessly as him.

Orson Scott Card is the only reason I’m reading sci-fi, a genre I am generally not fond off, and I find it hard to believe that I’m actually enjoying it. Hats off to Orson Card for his undeniable talent and ability to change my taste for sci-fi novels.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What I Look For In A Valentine

I'm at that age where I'm old enough to enter courtship and young enough to stay single for a few more years. 

This year, I decided to stay single and pursue God. I've been in relationships before and I learned that without God in the centre of my relationships, they crumble. So before I jump into a relationship with a guy, I want to have a tight relationship with God.

That being said, what kind of men do I look for? (Since it's Valentines.)

#1 He must love God more than he loves me. Enough said.

#2 He must have dreams and goals in life. A man that does not settle for mediocrity but strives to be better as a person and in his career. 

#3 He must be older but not more than 5 years.  

#4 He must be honest, faithful, and the head our family. 

#5 Bonus: A gamer. Because if we don't have an activity we enjoy doing together, we can game!

I didn't set his physicality because.. well, obviously he has to be taller than me and has an active lifestyle.

All these criteria I set knowing I'm doing the same. I'm learning to love God more, I have dreams and goals in life, I'm bettering myself as a person to be more honest and faithful, and I am getting into a healthy and active lifestyle. I won't ask something out of someone if I cannot achieve it myself. 

Getting into a relationship is not a game for me, and when I find a man, I intend to marry him. Call me old school, but that keeps me from flings and unwanted heartbreaks. 

So yea, now that this is out in the open, the next time I meet someone and attempt to compromise my stated points, I would remember that it's out in public and I should not go back on my written words.

Happy Valentines day everyone! Have a lovely day :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Painful & Rather Gross Topic

I have had ulcers my whole life.

I know, this is not an appropriate topic to blog about and you’re probably going, ‘ewwww!’ but I have to because this round hurts so much I have to blog about it.

I do not know what makes me prone to ulcers, but every time I accidentally bite my inner cheeks, I get an ulcer. Most of them are bearable and I can live like a normal human being in their presence. The only problem is that they make my inner cheeks the surface of mars, making it even more prone to being bitten.

This time however, a random one pops up on the side of my tongue. It’s not a big one but it brushes against my teeth whenever I move my tongue. That makes it painful; a pain that shoots down my throat and leave my eyes wet once the pain is gone. So not wanting to inflict pain on myself, I don’t speak, eat, drink or even smile. I’ve muted myself.

When my boss talks to me, I force myself to say a few words. After that, I try not to cry.

When my stomach growls, I think of the horror of feeding myself and choose to starve rather than feel the pain.

When my lips become dry, I don’t drink water, I just dab water on it to avoid gulping.

When I think about exercising, I contemplate on not doing any cardio. Opening my mouth hurts and catching my breath would inflict more pain.

This kinda sucks… no, it really sucks. This is the worst I’ve ever experienced, and I doubt it was because I bit my tongue, because I don’t recall doing so! Why on earth is there an ulcer on my tongue trying to kill me?

All I can do now is pray it would heal and leave me alone. One can only take so much pain… especially one with a low threshold of pain like me.