Tag Archives: reading

Twitter, Kitten, and more!

I don’t write on this blog as much as I’d really like to, but I felt like giving some updates for those interested.

First of all, about a month ago, I made a twitter account, finally. There isn’t much to it, but it’s a start. I’ll try to keep updated with that as much as possible. I’m trying to get a bigger presence social media wise, so it’s a nice first step.

Second! My life has been absolutely overwhelmed by the cutest little menace ever. His name is Beau and we love him: 13327490_10207204974905266_8015567601849003824_n

The decision to adopt the little orange tabby came over a month after our eldest cat Buddy passed away at 19 years old, almost a week after his birthday. His death was very difficult, as it was only the second time I’d ever lost a cat, and he was suffering so much in the final days of his life.

But Beau has breathed new life and laughter into the house and we are so grateful for him, even if he exhausts us! Our cat Lilo is still trying to figure out how she feels about him, two weeks later, but she’s coming around.

Also, a big happy Memorial Day to all of those who have served, and to those who have loved ones in the services, or who may have lost. Thank you, for any and all sacrifices.

I’ll be trying to get a bit better about posting more these days. And actually work on reading more and being part of the conversations. I have a hard time remembering to do it in the first place, but we’ll see how this attempt goes.

I have edited a couple of the pages, the “Where’d you Go?” page and the sort of About Me page “What’s a Novice Wordsmith?” I’ve also added another, that will serve as my page for social media links. Just the Twitter for now, but if I add more, they will go up there!

That should do it for the updates for now! Expect another post from me within the week.

The Novice Wordsmith

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Read Until Your Eyes Stop Working

I have been on a binge recently. After reading Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians, the realization dawned on me once again that I can devour books quickly if I really want to. It was read in about two days, most of one being spent inside while it rained.

I picked up the sequel, which is what made me want to read the first. An article featured on NPR had come up and I got interested immediately. He does an incredible job writing and being humorous as well as captivating the whole way through. Then again, it’s my kind of book, I love the social and scandalous when it’s done well.

After the first book, I had picked up another, just on a whim. “I can read a lot, I’m going to find all the books I was interested in.” Not to mention that I already, obviously, have a stack waiting for me to get through at home. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre that I’ve been meaning to read, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Dune, Beautiful Ruins, Ancillary Justice (and the next two books in those series, solely because it’s scifi, awarded, AND the author lives within five miles of me), The Glass Magician, Starship Troopers, The Secret Garden, The Giver…

The list goes on, and on… I want to get through them all, but I’ve picked up even more books from the library to read through by the time the date’s up. My reading list looks a lot like my writing prompt list: So many to keep me busy and yet it keeps growing faster than I can knock any off.

And I’ve been diving into articles online left and right like I haven’t before. I’ve spent hours just poring over long texts.

Of course, I mind none of this. But while I’ve been engaging myself in all sorts of things, time after time, week after week, I’ve been neglecting wordpress and those I follow on here.

I can commend myself for being a prolific reader in the recent days, but I keep meaning to keep up with people here, and it always slips my mind. Even if I do mail notifications for those I enjoy most, I’ve famously been bad at it regardless. Not just with these blogs, but also namely with the roleplay blogs that I had mentioned before. I’m even guilty of friends sending me stories and not reading them for days or weeks.

I am terrible. If I don’t see something, I’m not reminded of it, but even then, I can tend to be flaky for other reasons. Interest or a lack thereof, time constraints, or my head simply not being in the place for it.

With ease, I can dive into text and language. I can mosey around and find things. I like a lot of what I see with those I follow here, but a lot of my attention, especially in the beginning, was focused on putting out content and not really forging networks or connections with anyone else. Or doing so, but not strongly.

But, as my reading has encouraged and inspired me to read more books and more articles and engage myself more frequently, it’s also inspired me to work on other aspects, like the careless negligence of my followers, who are all parts lovely!

It has been nice, having the time and ability to indulge so often and so deeply. I must say that I love going back and forth between writing all day and reading all day. When I can lose myself in a universe, whether it’s self-made or someone else’s, I know it’s been a great day. I always end those days feeling productive, and my mind continues in a whirring daze until it shuts off.

Here’s hoping it’ll last me a while!

-The Novice Wordsmith

World Building, World Sharing

So I “bought” (it was actually free, as a gift for being an Amazon Prime member) a book yesterday, and I finished it today, and what I noticed is that, when you read that much, you immerse yourself totally into that universe.

Whether you liked the story, where it takes place sticks with you, good or bad. Depending on how much you like pieces of it, you might find yourself wanting to write in it, taking the world that someone else built and creating in it. Though the world itself isn’t originally yours, you see so many possibilities within it and can’t help but run wild.

This happened a lot to me when I was starting out, but I never created my own worlds. I was always too scared. I had a friend who would prattle on about the language he was creating for a world he made up months ago, the maps he was drawing out, and just how immersed he was in the whole thing. And I still remember that feeling of embarrassed intimidation, that I wasn’t as good as he was and that I could never get that far with something as he had.

It’s funny when I look back on it now, because I’ve found myself thinking of languages and certain barriers to consider in a huge, wide universe, and I drew a map for a world I was working on just a few weeks past… Then again, it’s been over ten years now, and I’ve come quite a ways from the beginning.

Even a decade later, though, I still find myself wanting to write in someone else’s universe, though I know I’m wholly capable of being original and doing things on my own. The difference lies in indulging someone else’s creation, which I do with Friend a lot. He and I have created a lot together, and on the other hand, he created a universe I took over.

There’s just something about a steampunk-feel world of wizardry based on materials (paper, rubber, plastic, metal) that I just can’t get enough of though. (Just in case you were wondering the book is The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg ) It’s hard not to have the possibilities spring up on you where you go, “OH!” and want to write. Hell, I’ve felt this way for several different things, and I think that’s when you know the setting or the story has really clicked with you.

Creating on your own is something that takes time. We start off standing, and then we can walk, and then eventually we progress into running. Some people start off making their own worlds, but the quality is what changes the most. It goes from simple to detailed and flourishing. Wordsmith at 12 couldn’t come up with a universe half as beautiful as  Wordsmith at 24 did.

And there’s something I think of every time I bring this up, progress and improvement: an album someone put together of their drawings from when they were a kid up to the point they were at the time of the posting. You can see how someone gets better from the beginning to the latest point. It’s just remarkable, to me, I love seeing that. The same goes for writing; you can see how your style develops over time, and things you miss and place in on purpose.

I was one who started worldbuilding in another world. And then I just stuck to someone else’s worlds until I wanted out, to make something for myself, and really expand and create on my own in ways that I couldn’t with the pre-established ones.

Don’t ever be afraid to dabble in someone else’s world (provided there’s consent and copyrights aren’t being violated and all the legal nonsense doesn’t get involved…), and there’s nothing wrong with staying in that world until you’re comfortable making your own. And if you’d rather not make your own, that’s perfectly good, too.

Go at your pace, seems to be the message throughout a lot of my posts, I notice. Go at your pace, do what you enjoy, and chase down every piece of creativity you can find in any way you like. Can’t go wrong there.

-The Novice Wordsmith

All or Nothing

When I start to read a book that I’d bought only seconds prior, there’s this sort of charged electricity of excitement that passes through me, and when I pick up the book, I cannot put it down. This has happened to me so many times. With Little Women, with Starship Troopers, with Hunger Games… Now, with The Paper Magician.

When I put the book down instead of diving right in, that magic is lost. I am not as interested and I don’t get as hooked onto it so quickly. I can forget about it for days.

New Book Syndrome. I like this, but so very infrequently am I able to really take advantage of it. I become enraptured with the style of the author, wordchoice, the characters in the book, the way it’s written, the new, interesting idea of it or the things I have yet to read. It’s like being in the middle of a library with so many options and choices to read and learn something new, and if ignored, it’ll die down and go unnoticed completely.

But now I’m indulging. I’m pushing through this book easily and I don’t want to stop.

I think about how I want readers to feel when they look at what I write. I want to engage that kind of reaction out of them, I want to be able to pull them in and not let go with my words and imagery, I want to create something so profound that that feeling is so overwhelming that there’s no way they can ignore it.

But some stories just click with you, and others don’t. And then what happens when the new-book-magic is fizzled out, in the morning after or later in the day? When it’s all gone, are you still just as excited about the book? More often what happens is that you start to see things in it that you didn’t before, you critique it, you wonder, you speculate and prod more than you learn and explore.

Whether it lasts or not, that “SHINY!” feeling is still one hell of a ride. One that I love and live for and don’t feel often enough. Time to fix that, methinks.

-The Novice Wordsmith