Saturday, September 12

Writing but not writing

OK. I know I haven't been updating much. I'm a lousy journal keeper. Unlike the characters of Vampire Diaries, who diligently progress the storyline with "Dear Diary." Speaking of which, I've watched the 1st episode of the new series, based on L. J. Smith's books of the same main title. And I loved it. Granted, the story's along the line of Twilight, a Daywalker vampire in love with a human girl, and will do anything to keep her from harm, which seem to follow her doggedly. But the vampires here don't glitter in sunlight, and they need a special ring to be able to do so. Plus, I've always had a soft spot for anything vampire. Sigh. But talking with my sister earlier tonight, I've come to realize why I love watching Twilight and Vampire Diaries. No, not because of Rob Pattinson, goddammit! This is the reason why: I've read the books before watching the motion pictures (series, in the case of Vampire Diaries), and to be honest, with the amount of adverbs and shallow, cliched writing, I wonder how the books made publication and are well loved in the first place. When reading Twilight, I had a feeling I was inside a simpering teenage girl's head who whines whines whines all the time. Felt like a pervert too, getting into Bella's head. The saving grace for the novel-series is the amazing and believable chemistry between Bella and Edward (Stephanie Meyer lost that connection in Breaking Dawn, but gained in action sequences and strength of plot). Reading Vampire Diaries...well...felt like I stole a girl's diary and read it! I honestly don't consider myself a literary snob. I'm not. But I've read online stories from unpublished authors (I still think published online is not the same as published in print. That's why I consider myself unpublished) that are waaaaay better than those books. But not only did the books go into reprints (not just single prints, mind, but reprints!) but they transited into the screen! That's the Holy Grail for authors anywhere! And, regardless of what people may say, having read those book made me appreciate the improvement scriptwriters and directors made! Twilight may have stayed true to the book on most parts, but Vampire Diaries was totally changed! In the book, Elena is blond and blue-eyed, a typical all-American popular girl who seems to be OK with her parents' death, and looks at getting Stefan a conquest. In the series pilot, Elena is a brunette (hot, extremely hot), who has a junkie brother (instead of a toddler sister), and is having a hard time dealing with the death. The TV series seems much more believable, and has depth and layers. So why do I like both books-turned-motion picture? They give me hope. Hope to be published, hope to reach the stars and beyond. They tell me that getting published is not just a pipe dream. Not 'just a hobby' as my mom puts it. Granted, she's amazed to no end at the pieces I come up with, but she'd strangle me to death and raise me to kill me again if I ever quit my day-job for writing. Anyway, speaking of writing, I'm glad to share that as of this moment, 7 out of 10 new stories I posted for Writer's Cramp have made the winning spot. Well, competing against 5 or 6 other writers for 1000-word short stories may not be anything, not like winning a national competition against 1000 other writers (I'm still licking my wounds from the rejection of the MPH-Alliance competition). But still. One of the stories was featured in a weekly newsletter (that is big news, bubba!). Wanted to take a screen shot, but the frame wouldn't include anything about the newsletter or the editor's picks. Please click on the hyperlink. Thank you! Oh. Will post the story after this. A few of the fellow writers there keep on giving me constructive criticism. They say I have a special God-given talent, and they want to push me far. They apologize for being harsh, but I tell all of them the same thing: Fire away. My IR (ideal reader) cum editor Tita is ruthless and never spares my feelings. Which is why I keep on bugging her to edit my works! And I've found out something interesting too. No matter how enthusiastic and serious I am about writing fiction, people don't look at me seriously so long as I am unpublished, or I haven't won any accolades. Praises I have for, but readership and reviews for the works I submitted only increased if that particular piece had won. People will only start noticing you if you've proven you're worth anything. Story of my high school life, all over again. And I love it. So now, part of the reason why I want to get published is to stand up to those who ignore my writing because I'm a nobody right now, and tell them to shove it. OK. One last thing about me. The application forms for Masters program is out. But I'm having second thoughts. Of applying this year, at least. The reason: I want to get myself published first, before I hit 30. I don't want to give up on that. Least not for now. My mom will kill me if she finds out! As long as this meme post has been, my debut in the global writing community is nothing compared to what my siblings have achieved. My brother has won Harper's Bazaar-Canon Fashion Photography Competition, and is featured in this month's magazine. Don't have a working scanner to scan the page. You have to check it out for yourselves, interview and all. Heck, his interview was published! That's what I've always wanted for myself! Too proud to be jealous right now. And my sister's baby poster business has lifted off! She's made over RM500 (and counting). She's a genius when it comes to captions and typefaces, and she's finally found her calling. Feel free to visit her advertisement blog here, and place your orders. So far they're for babies, but I'm sure she'll make exceptions. Sorry this post is all words and no pictures. Will try to update more often than what I'm doing now.