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Prophecy Six Blog

Sharing My Unedited Writing Experiences & Life Experiences.

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Thinking Thursdays: Teach Social Innovation/ Change

I remember when I first heard the word non-profit.

I was around six years old and we were given a box to wear around our necks at Halloween to collect change while we trick-or-treated. Most people gave us pennies (when pennies were still around), or didn’t give change at all.

The second time I heard about non-profit was when I was eight. We were doing a pop tab drive, collecting the tabs to make wheelchairs for kids that could afford them and bikes for kids in third world countries.

As a kid it felt good to be part of something that was created social change in some way. Those pop tabs I collected or those pennies I was given would lead to helping someone I never knew and would likely never meet. On my own time I looked into what these programs were and what they did. I kept reading the word non-profit on their websites, alongside the list of their values, mission statements, and vision – but never did I learn about what they were from schools.

Later on in high school when we all think we are smarter than our teachers and we start realising the world isn’t this shiny, perfect place like our parents would have a believe my opinion changed about non-profits. For a short time – mostly from wanting to be liked among my peers – my opinion about non-profits were that all they wanted was money. They weren’t really helping people like they said they were. They are frauds. They are money hungry. They don’t do anything.

I now know – at 25 years of age – that my teenage self was stupid.

The world was not just black and white – that indeed there were these grey sections trying to tip the scale to better the lives of those in poverty, abuse, war. That there were people in the world that realised how much it sucked and were trying to make our future and the future for others better than the last.

I don’t blame my younger, ignorant self for think what she thought. There was computers where I could explore my ideas further, or libraries filled with books that could have corrected my opinion. I had teachers that ran clubs in our school focused towards social justice but there was never a class nor a lesson that covered what those words actually meant. At an age between 13-18 you feel like you can’t make a difference but if you were given a chance to help the world – even if it’s collecting pop tabs – they may have a different opinion of the world.

So, this is what I propose.

At the young age of six get your children involved with a world issue – environment, social… etc. – let them learn first hand about how one person can effect the balance.

At an older age teach them about non-profits or other charitable organisations in the world. For Canada, teach the history of social change and innovation by telling the events that took place in the 80s where Canadians came together and saved South Moresby, BC from deforestation. Show them that there can be light in a world so filled with terrible events, fears, and death.

But most of all, teach your kids that there is always hope. That by taking the paths before them that they have choices that could effect the world. That if they knew more about how to change the world, than maybe one day we will live in a better one.

Anyways, that’s all I have to say. Do you agree or disagree with my rant? Let me know in the comments below, and until next time have fun, stay safe, and change the world for the better. 🙂

If you are interested in learning more about non-profit and charity I suggest the best place to start is watching this video from TEDTalk. It has helped me open my mind and question what we’re doing in this world.

 

Bits of Book Two: Not Perfect

After discovering that she is part of a prophecy, Liora becomes determined to be able to learn skills that would better prepare her for the troublesome, dangerous world outside the protective walls of Demor. She knows that many won’t allow her to learn how to use a weapon but with the help of her best friend she hopes to learn some skills that could help her defend herself if needed.

Here is the section where Cáel is trying to teach Liora how to throw a knife.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Liora and Cáel headed down to the training grounds. The late noon sun was behind the castle allowing for enough shade to cover the grounds so they wouldn’t get too hot in the open area surrounded by dummies and targets. The cool spring breeze danced through her hair, moving the strands across her face while she stared at the target across the field. Its wooden slats punctured and dented from previous attempts to hit the red painted center of the board. The dirt was torn in patches from her previous attempts as she slowly breathed in through her nose.

Her palms were sweating, her arm aching from trying to position her aim just right as to hit the target. She licked her lips following by pressing them together tightly in concentration. She felt a gentle hand on her arm lower her aim by an inch as Cáel used his foot to slide hers farther in front.

“Follow through with yar knees,” Cáel breathed, moving his cheek against hers to see if she was properly aligned with the target.

“You’re a little close, aren’t you?” Liora muttered; glancing at the boy whose cheeks reddened as much as hers.

“Sorry,” Cáel croaked, taking a step back, moving his hands to her hips. He gently turned them to be parallel with the target. “All ‘ight, fingers light on the handle and throw like a ball with one swift movement.”

Breathing in through her nose, Liora threw her arm forward letting the dagger fly as she watched it skip across the ground like a pebble on a lake.

“Gods damn it!” she hissed, stomping her foot.

“That was closer,” Cáel hummed, rubbing the back of his neck.

“Not close enough to hit the bloody thing,” Liora sighed, picking up her dagger that wedged itself into the dirt.

“Well yah can’t be perfect at everythin’,” Cáel smirked, as the girl glared at him with her steel grey eyes.

“I’m not!” Liora stated, looking at the blade that rested in her hand. The ivory handle was speckled with dirt, as the blade was caked in muck.

“Obviously,” he pointed towards the board.

“I mean more than the board, Cáel,” Liora reiterated, “I work hard to be good at what I’m good at… I’m not perfect at anything.”

“Healing?” Cáel stated.

“I still have a lot to learn from Caldor,” Liora answered.

“Painting?” he said.

“My people look like blobs and the clouds too,” Liora replied, using her dress to polish the blade. It was pointless since it was only going to get dirty again, but she needed to do something. “I just want to be good at something that can help me.”

“Yah will, I mean we’ve been at this a few times. Ya’ve picked up on the defense fine – throwing is just one of those extra perks,” Cáel shrugged, taking his dagger out from his belt and with a quick flick with his wrist it flew flawlessly into the target board.

“A perk you can do with your eyes closed,” Liora grumbled, when Cáel flashed her his goofy grin.

“Hey, let me have somethin’ I can do better than yah, eh?” he teased. “Come on, line up and we’ll try again.”

Liora kicked the dirt sending small puffs of sand into the air. She didn’t like not being able to learn something quickly. Maybe this was her weakness? Maybe she couldn’t fight after all?

Standing before Cáel, she moved her foot in front and squared her hips with the target. Cáel held her arm, moving it in the movement she was to follow. His hands were warm as he tightened the satin ribbon that kept back her sleeve so it wouldn’t get in the way.

“Breathe, relax, focus, follow through,” he instructed.

“Breathe,” she took a breath. She narrowed her eyes as she glared at the target. She was going to get it this time. She knew she was. She could feel it in her gut.

With a quick throw, Liora heard a thunk as the dagger skipped across the ground wedging itself into one of the barrels along the wall.

“Bloody hell!” she seethed, her hands balled into fists as she stomped her foot.

“Liora!”

The woman shouted from the steps to the garden, as the girl turned to see the flustered expression on the Detress’s face. Her curls bounced when she descended another step. The woman’s shadow loomed over her, as the sun blared behind making it difficult for Liora to focus.

“Hello… Marcia,” Liora rubbed her upper arm. Cáel ran to pick up the dagger. He cleaned the blade on his trousers before tucking it into his belt.

“Don’ Marcia me, what do yah think ya’re doing?” The Detress placed her hands firmly on her waist giving the girl a narrowed glare. “Yah know girls aren’ to be in the training grounds.”

“It’s my fault, Marcia. I suggested she try it since she wanted to–,” the boy stopped when the woman raised her hand.

“Cáel, yah know better. Fighting is for boys, not for young ladies. Now, Liora come. I’ve got some weeding to do and ya’re gonna help,” Marcia turned to return to the garden.

“Later?” Liora whispered, seeing her friend nod.

“Li, now!” Marcia’s voice was shrill as Liora ran up the steps to meet with the Detress who held a basket in her crossed arms.

The woman turned without saying a word as Liora followed her to the other side of the garden closest to the steps leading to the stables. The sun shone, but there was enough shade from the stables and small silver birch to keep them cool. The woman gathered her cotton dress before her as she knelt in the garden getting right to work with the weeding.

Liora had expected a lecture. She had expected Marcia to go on about how she shouldn’t have been learning to throw daggers… even if she was doing a poor job. The Detress did none of those things. All Marcia did was weed in silence, her back facing Liora while the girl rang her hands.

Her stomach churned, as her shoulders felt heavy. She didn’t like Marcia upset with her. Normally, Marcia was the one that understood her actions but not of late.

Taking the leather string from her wrist, she tied back her hair to keep it out of her face. The shorter strands fell in front of her eyes as she tucked them back in hopes they would stay in place as she worked in the garden. She knelt beside the woman. The damp grass seeped through her thick cotton dress. The black soil of the flowerbed was cool to the touch as it imbedded itself deep under her nails while she dug out the roots of a large thistle growing between the rosebushes.

They worked in silence as the minutes passed. The heaviness she had first felt was growing more as the moments passed. She preferred the woman to have yelled at her than give her the silent treatment. Nothing felt worse than knowing someone was angry but no one spoke.

“Are we going to talk about why you’re angry… or are we just going to pretend everything’s fine?” Liora whispered, resting her hands on her lap. The black soil left handprints on the tan material as she picked at the dirt under her fingers.

“What is there to talk about? Yah weren’t supposed to be down there, now yah know,” Marcia explained, placing a dandelion in the wicker basket between them.

“But why? Because I’m a girl? It’s not like I’m training for the front. Cáel was just reviewing what he was learning with me,” Liora stated, hearing the woman sigh.

“That there is bad enough. Cáel knows better than to do that. He’s to be a soldier just like his da’ and yah a proper lady,” Marcia explained.

“But what if I don’t want to be a proper lady?” Liora stated, her hands clenching the material at her knees.

“Li,” Marcia turned to look at her. Their eyes meeting just for a moment before the Detress looked back at the garden. “Yah not a lil girl. Yah a young lady now and young ladies don’ go running around getting all covered in muck or throwing things. It is time you realize yah place here will be different from Cáel. He can be yah friend but he will be doing things yah won’ be able to.”

“Because I’m a girl,” Liora added.

“Yes,” Marcia replied.

“I don’t agree with that,” Liora stated, turning back to digging out weeds. What did Marcia know what kind of lady Liora wanted to be?

30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 24 – Hard Lesson

 

24

The Lesson You Learnt The Hard Way

Now, I’ve written about how hard it is to be a writer before in the past blog post Writing Is Hard… but today I am supposed to talk about a lesson that I learned the hard way.

Writing isn’t actually the hardest part of being a writer. Writing is a challenge. Writing makes you pull out your hair and scream to the sky asking for help from your ancestors to give you strength to continue on… but then you go back to writing because we’re all masochists and love causing ourselves pain…

Writing makes us over think, over analyze and lose sleep over the tiniest of pointless details but that is writing. Writing is hard.

I knew that from years of writing. I learnt that through writing and editing my book but that pain… that suffering doesn’t compare to publishing.

With writing you have control over your project. You know the outcome of the story. You understand your characters, setting, plot…

What you can’t predict is what will happen when you are finished with your work. You think – at least this was what my previous naive self thought – I publish my work online and that’s that. It will take care of itself. People will see my work, love it or hate it and
move on.

summerchild.jpgHA! What a fool I was!

Publishing feels amazing at first because your story is done. What you don’t consider is the work that comes after your book is done. It doesn’t matter if you’re with a publisher or your work is self-published, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

You now have to build your brand, you readership, manage your sales, find places to sell your work, find ways to sell your work… get/register your ISBNs with your country and send your work to your country’s Legal Library (self-publishing legal stuff for a Canadian at least).

Instead of reading about sentence structure and character development you’ve replaced that with Marketing 101 and Guru Publishing Posts. You need to learn to talk to people and talk about your book… which is a nightmare for a introvert. But come hell or high water you do what you can to get your book out there. Not because you want to but because you owe your work the right to be read. You owe your potential readers the right to find your work.

AND when a reader tells you that they love the story or they can’t wait for the next book, you realize it’s all worth it. That those nights staring at the ceiling trying to figure out who you need to email, call, ‘run into’ the next morning was all worth it. That those hours you spent reading blogs on marketing and searching for sites to sell your work wasn’t a waste of time. One by one you’ll grow your readers and the more you write/publish – you hope it’ll get easier. 🙂

That’s the hard lesson I recently learnt… but after all this hard work I’m still wanting to be a writer. As much as it keeps me up at night and forces me to learn about something I was never quite good at (marketing) I still can’t see myself doing anything else. So, if that’s not a sign I’m doing what I love… I don’t know what is. 🙂

Strengths and Weakness – Writer’s Edition

I’ve written a lot about how I love to write. There is no doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do. I spent the last six months dedicating myself to my craft.There were countless months of editing… and countless more months of editing… I hate editing… yet here I am.

After all that writing, and editing (-.-) I can say that I completed my goal of writing a book. 78000 + words later, my work is published for the world to see; for them to judge and for me to hiding in the corner suffering from overwhelming panic at what others will think. (Anxiety attacks aren’t fun, people!)

Anyways, with all that hard work I know I want to be a writer. It’s in my core. It’s in my heart and blood to share my words with the world even with the massive anxiety it causes me.

I can easily write 78000+ words about characters of my own creation, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to market to the real world.

By market… I mean figure out a way to share what I’ve worked so hard for with the world. I’m introverted… I don’t like unfamiliar human interaction. I would rather sit alone on the couch writing, reading or playing video games than go out with a group of people.

So, my issue I’m now starting to realize is I have no idea how I’m supposed to promote this thing. I’ve written blog posts. I’ve tweeted, bookfaced, and pinterested. Yet… I feel like I could do more.

 

If any of you have suggestions on what I can do to possibly spread the word, or places that would review my works – any information would be helpful. I want to keep learning from writing this book and the best way to learn it through peers – that means you. So, let me know your suggestions/ideas in the comments below. You know I’ll reply back. XD

What habits lead to you writing?

Never thought how my habits effected how I write until checking out this picture. 🙂

d42a2ec25662f4e07535463688c91359

This covers the habits of famous writers from what time of day they found themselves writing to if they were a cat person. This made me want to share my writing habits with you, and maybe help you think about where you fall in this picture chart. 🙂

Night owl or Daylight Dove?

I’m a night writer. I write more during the dark hours of evening than I could ever during the light of day. Daytime is distracting, and makes me wish I was doing something else. The other point of this, most of my life I was in school or at work during the day… leaving night the only time for me to write.

So, as a night writer I join writers like T.S. Elliot, Danielle Steel, and Robert Frost.

Coffee or Tea?

I will have a coffee if I must stay awake or need that extra boost, but if I have a choice I would go with a sweet tea. I like the taste of tea, and find it enjoyable to drink even when it’s cold (a bonus if you forget about making it).

With this, I join other tea drinkers like Stephen King, Jane Austin, and C.S. Lewis.

Type like the wind or like a snail?

When starting a project I normally type fast. I find myself doing at least 2000-4000 words in one sitting (or more). My mind races through ideas fast, and if my hands don’t keep up I will lose that idea.

I edit like a snail though… but that isn’t the point of this section.

Other fast writers are Stephen King, J.R.R Tolkien, and Charles Dickens.

Cat or Dog?

I grew up with dogs and love man’s best friend to the end. I don’t mind cats, but I’ll take a dog any day.

Other dog loving writers consist of Emily Bronte, Virginia Woolf, and Dorothy Parker.

Writing while laying down or moving:

If I’m not laying in my bed or laying on the couch I am not writing. I have to sit to focus on my work. Ideas come to me when I walk about, but they flow easier when I’m stuck in one place. My goal is to have a basket chair so I can make that my writing nest. 😛

Other laying down writers include William Wordsworth, George Orwell, and Edith Sitwell.

Now it is your turn. What habits do you have to follow to write? Comment below. XD

Old Word Friday: Namelings

 

This week on forgotten and old words I give you namelings.

Nameling is used when a person or persons share the same name.

For Example:

There were seven girls in my dorm named Claire. When happening across that many namelings I start calling them by their last name.

♫Do you believe in magic?♫

Now that I got that awesome song stuck in all your heads, let’s continue. ^.^

Words lure you, capture you, save you, change you and – in the worst cases – destroy you.

Words – like spells – can be used for good or for evil. Someone can use words to insult or compliment. Someone can use words to spread rumours or inspire millions.

Words can be used to share emotions, describe an experience or deliver information.

Words are magic.

As someone who writes – a lot – I never looked closely at the words I chose. Sure, I knew the meaning and the idea I was getting across, but I wasn’t looking so closely at how changing one word could make or break my sentences. Editing and revising my works weren’t really important to me – they were like pulling teeth, actually – and in turn I rarely followed through with that step. Most of my essays went unedited, homework always got ‘Please proofread’ written in the corner of the page, and I always had the same fixable errors I would have caught if I had reviewed it. Words – to me back then – were just things I put down on paper to get a point across, and that was that.

At least, it was before I started this journey on writing a book in 6 months.

Now, I look over every line and every piece of dialogue. I’m almost on my third revision, to tidy up the flow of the story before sending it to a copy-editor. I analyse every word and now find myself asking:

‘Did I use the right word? Is there a better word? Will my readers understand the meaning/ emotion/ clue/ idea I’m trying to portray with this word?’

Writing is easy when you aren’t over-thinking. Writing is fun when you make a certain arrangement of words in a sentence that you are proud of, and in the end wish to share with others. Writing is stressful when you go back and realize what words you chose weren’t the words you should have used. Writing is tiring when you realize you use ‘he/she shook his/her head’ over a billion times (I’m so guilty of that…).

I overuse certain words, or strings of words which can weaken the rest of the paragraph. I try to make short sentences for easy understanding, which means finding words that will allow me to do that.

When you look at words it is amazing to think that in the end they are symbols that we associate with certain sounds, which in turn create formations to share distinct meanings.

Take this blog as an example.

I’m typing in the English language and sharing with you a post about words while using words.

In a way… that’s kind of like wordception…

And see what I did there? Wordception isn’t a word, but with the combination of word and ception I created a new word. Yes, it was meant to be a reference/ joke of sorts but it is a new word all the same.

Actually, a lot of words were made by combining different words together (and I’m not just talking about compounds).

Okay… I should really stop… my brain is like Wikipedia when it comes to the written word. I could go on and on about the history of words, the importance of words, the whatever else of words but somehow we’ll end up on the question ‘are clownfish really clowns?’ And nobody got time for that.

So… the point I’ve been trying to make this whole blog is this: words are amazing sources of creative expression that can hold us and help us explore endless possibilities.

Deep – yes, I know.

Words cast spells on all of us whether we like it or not.

So, use them wisely.

Toodles for now. 🙂

Found my old writing…

Oh, Gods!

My eyes burn from reading the words I had written on the page of my old notebook from elementary school. The sentence structure… the grammar… the incorrect spelling of necklace (neckless).

At the time I was confident I was the best writer in my class. Now, I can understand why my English teacher told me I had to build experience.

Still, the creativity I had.

Looking over the pages, I don’t know where any of these ideas came from. How did I come up with this story? How did I decided this was how the story was going to end?

If only ideas like this came to me as easily as it had when I was younger…

Oh, Gods! I spelt would (wood) wrong…

Luckalee, my spelling has inproved at list. 😛

Only Fear

onlyfear

All my life I’ve been afraid.

I was afraid of the dark. I was afraid of disappointing my parents. I was afraid of the kids in my school, and afraid of what my teachers thought of me.

I was afraid of the future. I was afraid of my actions leading to trouble.

I was afraid to be me.

For most of my life I was afraid. For most of my life I didn’t take chances, or make certain choices because I was afraid what would happen.

I stayed safe. I went unnoticed and I was okay with that. Going unnoticed meant I wasn’t doing anything that would call for punishment.

Now, don’t take all of this as I had a terrible childhood. I wasn’t abused or neglected. Heck, I had a great childhood with wonderful parents who did all they could to see me succeed in this world. I was lucky, I know that. But, with all the support I had and love I had… I was still afraid.

I was mostly afraid of what people would think of me, if I was wanting to be myself.

The closest thing I had to being able to show myself was writing. I could create situations I would not be judged in. I would make my characters do things that might not have been considered the social norm. They didn’t get judge. They were not afraid.

That’s when I realized that I needed to change how I was.

There was a world around me to explore and chances I could take that would either end well or not so well.

The world had no right to judge me… because it knew nothing about me.

It took 24 years and a quarter life crisis to make me realize that everything I had been afraid of was made up in my own mind. My scum-bag brain had created situations that never would happen. The voices I believed were from those around me, was my own.

As soon as I realized that, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. The world opened up to me, and hell… for a moment it made me feel unstoppable.

I want to publish a book now more than I ever had before, because that’s what I want to do. I don’t want to be afraid any more.

All I want to fear from this day forward is fear itself.

…Let’s see how I do… XD

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