577 days later…

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Hello, internet.

It’s been 577 days since my last blog post.  Here’s what has happened since then…

  • I got pretty involved with the indie comics scene, connected with some awesome creators, and had a few short one-shots I wrote get published in some small press anthologies.  I really love writing comic scripts and collaborating with artists, colorists, and letterers.  Just a really fun medium to work in.
  • I also started a few other creative projects which, sadly, didn’t come to fruition for one reason or another.  These projects included co-writing a few long-form comic series, joining the “writer’s room” for an audio drama podcast, and landing some small voice acting gigs.  I still have hopes that a few of these will work out, but 2016 seemed to be a rough year for almost everyone.
  • My job situation got to be pretty stressful, resulting in 12+ hour workdays.  That, plus a growing sense of loneliness after living on my own in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, pushed me to start looking for a new job.
  • In June 2016, I came to terms with the fact that I was queer and sank into a months-long depression as I agonized over how my family would respond.
  • I spent most of my free time on a LGBT+ internet forums finding support, making friends, and exploring what it meant for me to be queer yet Christian.
  • I came out as bisexual to my older sister (and brother-in-law) on August 13th, to my brother on September 5th, and to my parents on September 11th.
  • One of the aforementioned internet friendships became my first full-fledged relationship (albeit a long distance one) as I fell for a woman who lived 2,000 miles away.  She supported me through my awful work situation and as I navigated what it meant for me to be out to my family; and I supported her as she struggled with gender dysphoria and the loss of a dear friend from suicide.
  • My uncle passed away.
  • My grandma passed away.
  • My niece was born and I became a first-time aunt.
  • I visited my girlfriend on two separate week-long trips — once in March and again in May.
  • I got a new job in a different city, so I ended up buying and moving into a new house with my sister, brother-in-law, and newborn niece.
  • My girlfriend and I broke up two weeks after I had moved and three weeks before she left for a life-changing surgery out of the country.  We ended things on good terms and with the intention of remaining friends; we still had love for each other, but ultimately wanted different things in life.  But unfortunately, that didn’t spare me from the utter heartbreak at the loss of what we had.
  • I am slowly creeping out of my introvert cave, exploring what this new city has to offer, and feeling a bit more free to live as myself.

All in all, the past year and a half has been an absolute rollercoaster.  There have been amazing highs and devastating lows.  But, hey, that’s life, isn’t it?

It feels good to be back.  I hope to return to posting somewhat frequently, now that things seem to be settling down.

Here’s to the next 577 days!  They may bring joy, they may bring pain; but whatever may come, I’ll just keep moving forward…

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Wise the Simple’s Writing Resolutions for 2016!

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In 2016, I resolve to…

1. Write 22 comic pages per month

Over the past few months, I’ve been learning the art of writing comic book scripts.  I’m currently working with a writing partner and artist (the collaborative project I alluded to back in August) on an original series that we hope to shop around and/or crowdfund sometime next year, as well as a few scripts on my own.

In my early career as an indie comic creator, one great resource has been /r/ComicBookCollabs on Reddit.  The subreddit moderator there posed 22 pages a month as the New Year’s Resolution challenge to the community.  22 pages is the length of an average issue, so fulfilling this task would be comparable to the work one would do on a monthly comic.

I’ve really enjoyed writing comic scripts so far.  As far as resolutions go, this one is great in that I’m actually excited and raring to start!  Should be a fun way to get into a monthly comic mindset, especially with the community accountability through /r/ComicBookCollabs.

2. Write (at least) one blog post per week

I know, I know.  I’m terrible at keeping a steady blog schedule.  Some months I’ll post a bunch, and then I’ll disappear for weeks at a time.   The worst.

So we’ll keep it simple: One blog post a week.  That should be manageable, right?

3. Write “something” every single day

As someone who fancies herself a writer, I’m not very good about writing.  Sure, I do a lot of brainstorming and note-taking and researching and planning.  But the actual creation of content?  The actual sit-down-and-write-ing of it all?  I’m pretty bad at doing that daily.

So, in 2016, I resolve to write “something” every day.  Be it a blog post, a prose piece, a comic script… whatever — I resolve to write every. single. day.

4. Produce and/or share something

The thing about resolutions is that they’re useless without accountability.  I could very well promise to do all of these things and let them slide without anyone knowing.  Especially since (apart from this blog and short responses to prompts on Reddit) I am unpublished as a writer.

So instead of hiding away due to fear of being inadequate, I’m going to start sharing my creations with the public.  While I have high hopes for the comic project I am working on with the aforementioned team, I’ll probably start producing content on my own before that gets off the ground.

Haven’t quite figured out how I want to start sharing content yet.  Current thoughts are: submitting short prose pieces and/or comic scripts to online publishers or anthologies with open submissions, writing and producing a low-budget audio-drama, or making a webcomic with my mediocre art skills.  I have already started working on all of these possibilities (my fear of inadequacy has not yet overcome the early stage of creative optimism), and hope to get “something” out as an example of my work within the next year.  There’s a high probability that many of these ideas will crash and burn (e.g., while I’ve done some amateur voice acting, I know next to nothing about sound production, so the audio drama thing may be a complete pipe-dream without garnering a lot of extra help), but they all really interest me & pique my creative spirit.  So I’ll keep exploring all my options until something sticks.  If all else fails, I may just start posting short fiction here on the blog.  Guess we’ll see!

5. Read more

I’ve always believed in the idea that to be a creator of good content, you should also be a consumer of it.  This year, I watched a lot of television and movies, listened to a lot of podcasts, and (in the latter months) read quite a few comics.  The amount of book reading I did, however, was unfortunately rather slim.

Books were my first love.  They were my gateway to imagination and creativity, and it saddens me to realize how few novels I actually finished this year.  I constantly buy books; my shelf overflows with each addition to my To-Read list.  I hope this next year I can put a dent in that list.

I’ve really delved into reading comic books this past year, which has been a blast.  I’m currently into a lot of Image and Marvel titles (and signed up for Marvel Unlimited, which is awesome), and hope to read more indie & DC series next year as well.

Since I’m newish to the whole scene, I’ve basically been binging on comic books, and don’t see me slowing down anytime soon.  So I don’t think I’ll put a benchmark goal on that.  In regards to prose novels though… maybe a book a month?  That should be manageable, right?  I know many people put their reading goals way above that, but given the amount of writing I hope to do and my propensity for procrastinating/making poor use of my time, I’ll set the bar at a lower, more reasonable setting for me personally.

So, those are my writing resolutions for 2016!

Hopefully this blog will keep me accountable.  I’ll try to check in every once and awhile to let you know how things are going 🙂 How about you?  Any writing-centric New Year’s Resolutions?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy New Year! 😀

From Solitude to Collaboration: What a Crazy Month It Has Been

Wow.  What a crazy month it’s been!  Sorry I’ve been gone for so long —  I’ll try not to do it again.

This month-long absence was started out of woe.  If you follow my blog, you likely saw that I had a bit of a bad day near the end of June.  That unfortunately spread to a few weeks of depression.  Not so much the sadness kind as it was just the numbness.  I’m prone to maladaptive daydreaming, and I ended up spending most of the time after work just lying in bed, fantasizing and thinking about nothing of import.

However, some time in the last few weeks, it was as if everything had turned 180 degrees.  I often find solace in geeky obsessions, and during my emotional low-point this month, I had become enthralled with audio drama podcasts.  Though I was determined to be separate from the real world, I found myself immersed in several fictional ones as I listened to these long-form narratives.  Soon, I found myself inspired to do something I hadn’t had the motivation to do in a long time — write!  I started reworking some of my short fiction ideas, and began drafting some new things as well.

Now, I am typically a lone-wolf in most aspects of my life.  But for the first time in my writing “career,” I was interested in finding a writing partner.  I’ve done writing collaborations before, but those were mainly in the sense that we wrote our own separate pieces under a shared framework.  I was interested in working together with someone on a single project.  I figured that since I’m not familiar with certain forms of writing (e.g. scripts for movies, television, comics, and/or audio dramas/radio plays), it would be good to work alongside someone — preferably someone more experienced in these formats than I — who could help me to learn and hone my own craft.

The only problem here was… I had no idea how to find someone like that.

Whether it was through providence or serendipity, I’m not sure.  But one day, out of the blue, I got a private message from a colleague of mine from one of the aforementioned shared world writing collaborations.  He mentioned that he was a fan of my work, and was wondering if I was interested in creating something with him.

Of course I was.  Of course I was!

So here we are now, going into our third week of collaboration, and we have had wonderful brainstorming sessions, the beginnings of some great (if I may say so myself) first draft material, and a very exciting conversation about the involvement of a third-party.  I won’t go too much into it since we are very much in our nascent stage, but this is truly the most excited I’ve been about writing in a while!

As an introvert, I value my alone time.  But sometimes… sometimes I push too hard in one direction.  It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and even easier to refuse to try to get out of it.  Sometimes I need a kick in the butt, a little push to get me started.  Sure, I may have started off last month at a low-point, but now I’m back on the upswing and looking forward to what’s to come.

An Introduction

Wise the Simple is a new blog found here at wisethesimpleblog.wordpress.com.  Written by a self-proclaimed “daydreaming little nerd of a wallflower,” Wise the Simple is a blog about life, faith, imagination, and geekery.  The following interview was conducted on October 23rd, 2014.

I’m so honored to have you here.  If I may jump right in — what made you want to start a blog?

(laughs) Well, it’s been a long time coming, that’s for sure.  I always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a kid.  I’d scrawl out stories on reams of continuous form paper — you remember the kind with perforations on the sides? — and illustrate it all with crude little drawings made with those scented Mr. Sketch markers.

Were you a big reader?

Oh, of course!  A large portion of my childhood was spent nose-in-book.  I remember once in third grade during silent reading time, I looked up from my book (a Brian Jacques Redwall novel, as I recall) and all the other kids were gone.  I asked the teacher where everyone was, and she, in utter surprise, said, “Oh, they all went out for recess a long time ago!”  I was so completely immersed in the story that I missed the stampede of twenty-odd children hurl through the tiny classroom.  More than that, I would regularly keep reading as I walked down the hall, letting other kids jostle past me while I carefully made my way down the stairs.  A teacher yelled at me once, said I would fall and break my neck.  (laughs)

Did you keep up reading writing throughout adolescence?  Were you a good student?

Yes, I was a very good student.  And I kept reading and writing throughout elementary and middle school.  It was somewhere between high school and college where it all kind of dwindled.

I think that along with puberty came my sense of inadequacy, and that fear hindered my ability and desire to create.  I still read; I read books, but mostly those that were assigned in English classes.  It was writing that took a huge hit around that time.

And what brought that desire back?

(thinks silently)  I’m not exactly sure.  College was a rough time for me.  My social anxiety on campus coupled with unrest back home drove my introverted self further inward in an attempt to hide from the world like a frightened snail.  This led to me to rediscover the fantastical realms of books, television, and movies, which in turn, reinvigorated my sense to create something of my own.

“I’m a writer!” I would exclaim to myself.
“No, you’re not.  What have you written lately?”  Cue deflating pride.

So, after a long hiatus, I sat down and wrote.  Story ideas, poetry, song lyrics, journal entries.  Then in my senior year, I found enough free time in my schedule to enroll in a creative writing class. It was glorious — like seeing an old friend after years apart.  With a cheery outlook, I began the slow process of retraining my atrophied writing muscles. (smiles broadly)  And so here I am!  Still shaking the layers of dust off my writer’s cap, but continually gaining confidence with each new pen stroke.

Now, I know that writing is not your career.  That is to say, it’s not how you earn your living, correct?

Correct.

But you still identify as a writer.

I do, but a highly cloistered one. (laughs)  That good ol’ reliable sense of inadequacy continues to hang on, so most things I’ve worked on are either hidden away “For My Eyes Only” or discarded halfway through.  Which finally, thankfully, circuitously brings us back to your first question: “Why start a blog?”

(laughs)

Hey, I said it was a long time coming!  (laughs)  But yeah, I have some friends who blog, and who have tried to get me to blog for years.  I’ve always been curious to try, but again, that fear of failing or of not being up to snuff kept holding me back.  I hope that blogging will help me to not only increase my productivity, but also become more confident as a writer and as a person.  (makes grand gesture with her hands and puts on an affected voice)  As I release my little word-children out into the wild! (laughs)

So those are the goals you have set for yourself in doing this blog, but what do you hope that others will get from it?  What is your blog’s mission statement, as it were?

That’s a great question.  As I looked into starting a blog, I kept seeing advice articles asking “What new do you have say?” or “What makes your blog different?”  And to be honest, that put me off quite a bit.

“I don’t have anything new to offer,” I would think.  “I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t already been said a thousand times before.”

But after awhile, I just thought, “You know what?  Screw it.  Sure, I’ll be treading fields well-trod, but I am the only me, so whatever I write will be written in a way only I could write it.  That will be what makes my blog different.”  (makes a face)  Does that make sense?  Is that completely cheesy?  I found myself a loophole, and I’m taking it!  (laughs)  It was the only way for me to bypass the inadequacy monster from putting a stop to the whole plan.

Anyway, my goal is to use this blog as a place to put forth ideas — whether it’s musings about life, nascent story/creative writing concepts, or my thoughts on certain books, movies, and television shows.  With any luck, like-minded people will find interest in what I have to say or show me what they have written about such topics, and together we can develop good discussion over it all.  And maybe along the way I will find something new to say.  Who knows?  I’m willing to ride this wave wherever it may lead, and hope that you, dear reader, will join me.

Wise the Simple, it has been a pleasure having you here.  Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

Oh no, the pleasure is all mine.  Truly.  I mean, your sole purpose was to help me give expository background information, which I can now use as a framework to build my blog upon.

Um… I’m sorry?

You’re… you’re not real.  Didn’t I tell you that?  I… created you.

W-what?

See, I wanted my first blog post to be a kind of primer so readers would know a bit about me and where I’m coming from, but I didn’t want to have it just be: “Hi.  Welcome to my blog.  Here is some stuff about me.”  So, I thought I would try to punch it up with an interview-ish type narrative structure.  … You’re not mad, right?

You okay?

… That explains a lot, actually.  I can’t imagine anything about my life outside of what is happening right now.  That’s probably because I don’t really have one.

Huh.

Well, I’m sorry.  I didn’t realize you didn’t know.

I can’t believe I didn’t realize it!

Yeah…

I mean, my name is Boldy McInterviewer.

You would think that would’ve been a red flag…

Well, regardless, it really has been great.

I really am quite sorry.  You’ve been a champ.

Thank you.

No, thank you.

We should really wrap this up now.

Yes, of course.

… I’m not going to disappear into the aether once this interview is finished, right?

Oh no, of course not, buddy!  You’ve done so much in helping me with this first blog post.  I’ll definitely bring you back for more in the future.  You and I are in this together now.

Sweet.