College Life

So I’ve decided not to apologise for my inability to update regularly anymore. I have a busy schedule. I’m at university now and living on campus (best decision). I’ll be applying for Vet Science next year, so *fingers crossed*.

In the last few months I’ve made new friends, had to say goodbye to almost all of them (international students that were only here for a semester), made new ones, etc. I wanted a social year and got one.

I go home every few weeks to see family and give them a hand on the property. Elmo is huge! Fred and Heidi are shooting up too. They’ve all left the house yard now, so I have to go for a drive to see them. We had another grain poddy (too late to bottle feed) called Indie, but she disappeared about a month ago. We still haven’t found her. From left to right: Heidi, Fred, Indie, and Elmo.

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Finding time to write, read, or exercise has been a challenge. I study a little too hard, and have to remember to take a break sometimes. HFI is in the editing stages now. I’m terrible for underwriting, so there’s heaps to do before I’m willing to share it with the world.

I started planning for NaNoWriMo yesterday, so I guess I’ll be doing that again this year, haha.

What else?

Oh, I’m learning how to touch type. I don’t know why I never tried to learn it before. It takes a bit of focus at the moment, but I’ve gone from 11wph (without looking at the keyboard) to 28wph (with 98% accuracy) in four weeks. Keeping in mind that I’m doing this on top of studying, that’s not too shabby.

I also found a few perks of living on campus. For one, the unlimited internet is nice. Back at home we had 15GB between five people to last a month. I also get access to the university database (and there are HEAPS of books on fiction writing for free). Finally, I don’t have to cook. Uni food can be gross, but there’s always a salad option or peanut butter/Nutella available.

I think that’s it.

Anyway, I should get back to studying =P

Currently reading: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas (Everytime I start reading it I get the urge to write, which is why it’s taking so long).

 

So Much Has Happened…

This post is extremely late. I’ve been putting it off for a few reasons.

Two of those reasons have passed away. Dexter, my first surviving calf, died of unknown causes. One day he was fine and then next he was dehydrated. No matter how much I tried to correct it (litres of electrolytes, numerous injections suggested by a vet), more symptoms kept coming. He died in my arms two days later.

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The calf second from the front in the attached picture came along on the 11th of November. ‘George’ was very sick from the beginning. We battled scours and pneumonia, and since he never wanted to drink from a bottle (I spent 2hrs trying to convince him one night), we had to tube-feed him for over a month before we weaned him. At one point we called the vet out to make sure her didn’t have BVD (he didn’t), but we were told George had numerous genetic abnormalities. He perked up after he stopped drinking milk. He ate plenty of hay and grain, and loved eating mangoes. When it rained he ran around and played with the others, even though he had deformities in his legs. I thought he would beat the odds. But a month later, at two months old, I found him lying on his side unable to stand. I helped him to his feet and he walked around like nothing was wrong. He ate more than I’d ever seen before, but once he sat down he couldn’t rise. The second day he couldn’t walk far, but his appetite wasn’t affected. The vet prescribed an anti-inflamitory to treat possible nerve/spinal damage. The following day he could stand but couldn’t walk without falling. At lunch he couldn’t stand at all but continued to eat. I stayed with him until the end. We still don’t know what really happened.

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On the 15th of December I found another calf in the paddock. ‘Heidi’ is the calf at the front of the photo. She had a rough few days, but she’s doing fine now.

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We branded Elmo, Fred, and Heidi about two weeks ago. Elmo has been separated from the younger two and put out with the weaners (the calves that were raised by their mothers and have been taken off them now they’re about seven months). They weren’t happy with me for a few days (I wasn’t happy with myself tbh), but they’re back to wanting pats and eating my clothes.

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What else…?

Oh. With the same finger, I skewered it with barbed wire (had to pull the wire out myself), was bitten by George, and cut it with a knife while bangtailing (trimming a cow’s tail hair). The third will definitely scar.

I went to Supanova (kind of like ComicCon for Australia) dressed as Celaena Sardothien and met SARAH J. MAAS! I even had a photo taken with her and a few fans also dressed as her characters. She’s amazing. I also met Summer Glau and Matthew Lewis. The best weekend so far.

I helped my Dad put the roof on his 6m high shed. A storm hit while we were up there and a stray sheet of iron hit the kill switch on the boom lift. We were stuck up there. I had to jump off the roof and land on a truck to switch it back on. Probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

I’ll be heading to university next Saturday. I’m excited and terrified at the same time. For the first time in my life I’ll be living away from home. I know. As someone who just turned 20, that sounds childish to me too. But I was one of those luck kids who grew up in a close-knit family. We fight but we’re quick to forgive. I’m also my Mum’s support person and vise-versa. I think I’ll have a few homesick moments.

And finally, I finished HFI. It still doesn’t have a title, but I’m pretty proud of it. It still needs heaps of work and I have to add more subplots and conflict, but I’m excited to revise it.

I think that’s it. Wow, I wasn’t expecting to write that much.

I’m not going to promise to update in the next week or so since it’s about to get crazy for a while, but I’ll try to post something after O’Week.

 

Excuses and NaNoWriMo

So I totally forgot to post something last week, but I have an excuse…an adorable excuse:

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Meet Fred. I found him on the 22nd (October) and have spent the last week bringing him back to full health. He was smaller than my knee when I took him home.

He’s looking much better now, which is good since NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow.

I’m not going to go into great detail about NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and the goal is to write 50,000 words in the month of November. There are hundreds of blog posts on the internet for you to read if you want to know more.

This year I’m writing HFI (see last post for more details). I might write it in 1st Person after all, and edit it to 3rd after NaNo. I tried 3rd, but the writing felt stale.

I’ve been using The Story Grid to plan it. I recommend you at least give the site a look. There is a book you can buy, but everything in it has been posted on the website (often word for word). It reminded me to ensure every scene, chapter, and act had a beginning (Inciting Incident), middle (Complication, Crisis), and end (Climax, and Resolution). If there are any OYAN students reading this, I suggest you read a few pages. A lot of the information appears in the OYAN course.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on for long enough. I’m spending the rest of the day preparing for a long month =)

Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year?

Voice Issues

For the last two years, I’ve been trying to write a book I wittily named Out of Time (I like using puns in my titles). So far I’ve written three vastly different chapter outlines, numerous backstory re-writes, and just over 20,000 words of the actual novel. Unfortunately, I’ve had to strip back 12,000 of those words to accommodate the new outlines.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy with the alterations. The plot improved each time I revised, and has become something I’m excited to write.

So, why haven’t I finished the novel?

Voice. I’m struggling to find Kasia’s voice.

In the original plan, Kasia was a character full of hopes and dreams. Sure, her situation was terrible, but she pushed her fears aside to pursue her goals. Kasia pretty much vomited rainbows and butterflies.

As you can imagine, she didn’t make a very good narrator. There were times when she was so positive and eager that I wanted to gouge my eyes out.

Cue backstory re-write.

I made her suffer. In fact, I think I went a little too far in terms of psychological trauma. Oops.

Oh well, she lost that annoying Little Miss Sunshine tone and entered Mr Grumpy territory. I cringed as I typed that analogy. Ugh.

New Kasia is angry—and a little unstable. She has a bad temper and poor impulse control, which occasionally leads to dangerous and life-threatening behaviour.

Ah, much better. I could talk about New Kasia for hours.

What I haven’t been able to do, however, is write as New Kasia. I tried switching to third person limited, to no avail. Next I tried writing a synopsis in first person to get a feel for her voice. While it produced some good material, she sounded far too angsty.

In the end I caved and randomly generated a scene from some site I can no-longer recall. I wanted something unrelated to the story so as to avoid growing attached.

Massive failure.

In an unexpected twist, the scene flowed without effort. I enjoyed writing it so much that I want to include it in the novel (dun duuun). As for her voice, I think I found it. I still haven’t used it in a planned scene, though, so I don’t want to count my chickens just yet. Fingers crossed.

What about you? Are you having trouble with your character’s voice, or do you have a method of finding it?

Some Regrets

I was one of those teenagers.

The type that made a profile on almost every writing platform out there, and wrote About Me sections that made it blindingly obvious that I was around 13 years old.

I’ve spent the last few days cringing as I edited or deleted accounts. The worst part is, I remember writing them and thinking I was being funny. I was wrong.

Anyway, the worst of it is gone. Hopefully my online persona sounds more mature than it did before (or at least reflects that of someone entering their early twenties very shortly).

…Probably not. My bad.