Monday, May 25, 2020

Happy Memorial Day




A Tear for the Fallen
by
Edna Pellen
*Dedicated to the past veterans and the families of the lost veterans. 
Thank you for your sacrifice.*


A tear for the fallen
A tear for the lost
A tear for the veterans 
Who let us gain through their loss

A smile for the family
who let their loved one go
A flag for the orphaned children
Their parents no more to know

An ache for the blood
lost on foreign land 
A cry for the victory
and freedom bought by passed away woman and man

Love for the country
that they died to defend
A promise to not forsake the freedom
A promise not to let it end

Friday, May 15, 2020

Don't Forsake Your Story




Dear writer, 


We live in a world bent on diversity. And that can be wonderful, because clearly God has made all men equal. No race and neither sex is anything more or less than human, and no belief warrants cruelty from another. 
And yet, society has taken race, sex, and religion and caused it to further divide, not unite.
But that is a subject for another day. I'm not writing to you to tell you what you very likely already know. I'm here to encourage you, when you're under pressure, to not bend to society.
What I mean by that is that content creators, writers, artists, musicians, film makers, are being pressured to include things in their work that they wouldn't otherwise include, and that's really damaging the world of artistic content. 
Writers are throwing in LGBT+ characters or making characters suddenly become gay or pansexual or asexual or bisexual or what have you, they're plugging in characters of a certain race that weren't there before, they're tossing in characters of some religion, they're shoving in a "strong independent women" attitude in their heroines, they're including arcs that make no sense and they're ruining dynamics, all for the sake of pleasing society. And I have yet to see this be carried out and written well.

Now, I'm not writing this because I am against diversity. I am a Christian and do not believe or support a few religions, beliefs, and the LGBT+ community, but I don't hate the people in them, either. I'm not against strong or independent women, in fact I would love to see them properly depicted more often. And I am not against any race.
What I am thoroughly against, is authors being pressured to include any of the above where it is not due. I am against an author forsaking their story for the sake of pleasing society. 

If you are writing something that includes these things, and they are genuinely a part of the story and the characters, carry on. 
If you are writing something, and shoving in some or all of these things for the sake of society, please, stop. You don't need to please society, it's okay for you to write your story and characters how you want to write them. And if you are called sexist, racist, homophobic, or religion-ist, then so be it. You know that you aren't those things, you know that you are staying true to your story. Your story, writing style, and character development will suffer greatly if you force yourself to write something that is wrong for the story, and you'll lose the good readers.

Then there's all the stuff that isn't political or about diversity, it's about your writing choices.
If you choose to have a character do X thing, or if you move the plot in this way when someone suggest you do the other way, or if you cut or add a character, or how you end the story, it is all up to you. The decisions you make in a story are yours to make.
Receiving advice, constructive criticism, having someone to help you brainstorm, being given word choice suggestions, these are all great things. But at the end of the day, those things are just ideas. Ideas that you don't have to take or follow through with. Sometimes, maybe you should, and when they're coming from experienced writers they're especially worth considering. 
Still, the only person who knows your story as well and in-depth as possible is you. You know things that may never make it into the book, you know minuet things about the characters that still manage to affect decisions, you know how you want your story to be received, you know the atmosphere and aesthetic and plot and every little thing so much better then anyone else ever could. So only you can make the decisions as to where your story goes and where it's written, and if something suggested to you feels wrong, you are under no obligation to go through with the suggested idea.


Stay true to your stories, friends. 


    Yours,
                   ~ Edna Pellen


Thursday, May 7, 2020

On The Path to Publication: The Strategy


Hello!


I have begun an exciting journey; I am planning to publish a novel.
I'm not doing this soon, but I am doing this. I'm not letting that dream sit around anymore, but I'm not blindly running after it like all those inspiring quotes say.
Nope, I'm making a strategy.

This is it, so far:


May-October: Finish the first draft of Roslyn. 

I'm close. I'm really close. If you hop on over to my WIPs page, you'll see it has reached 50k words. That's a novel-length story.
But, I have a problem with that; I'm no where near the end.
How I managed to reach 50k when the story is just reaching the middle of the plot, I have not a clue. There's no way I can stretch it into two books, though.
So, I'm letting this first draft do its thing and will fix it later (which will likely involve cutting out a lot of stuff to make it a decent length).

I would also, ideally, finish this before October so that I can read through it before plunging into the next step.


November: Write the second draft of Roslyn for NaNoWriMo.

My plan for this is to copy my draft down and edit as I go. Ideally, I'd have it in a close to completed state.

December: Take it easy.

For December, I'm giving myself a break. I won't necessarily stop working on Roslyn, but I won't have any deadline to meet or anything.
I'm doing this for a few reasons:
  • Holidays
  • A tradition among my writing group to do a secret-santa short story swap.
  • I don't want to get burnt out. This'll take a lot of effort, and I'd hate to complete the goal just to. become deflated and apathetic towards my story. 

I will probably at least read over Roslyn to be ready for the next step.



January: Edit the 2nd draft of Roslyn.

I'll be spending this month reading over (if I hadn't already) and editing the second draft of Roslyn.



February: Send  Roslyn out to beta-readers.

This will be a really important step. It'll probably be the most important to me, personally, before hiring an editor and spending money (which is a whole different matter that I will discuss and mention here when the time comes).


March: Make the appropriate edits to Roslyn.

These edits will be based on what my beta-readers suggest.


{This on down is very iffy and may change as I go. So from here on down, it's guesswork.}

April: Send to omega-readers.

I don't know if that's really a thing in the writing universe, but this set is the final set who will be reading it. Their job isn't to edit, it's to read like a reader. To be my test audience, almost. I may or may not edit my work based on what they say.

May: Gap month. 

This is the next rest stop for me.


June: Business begins.

This is when I will begin all the money issues and "official" stuff. An official editor, choosing traditional or independent publishing, figuring out the cover design, marketing, earning money for all of it, and so on.
That will probably be about a year in and of itself. And I'll make a post like this one when the time comes. 


~~~~

I fully recognize that issues may occur, and honestly, I expect it. I don't have the best background when it comes to deadlines and commitment, and money will be a problem.
But this time around, I have a crew to hold me accountable who are all working towards the same goal of publishment. 


What you can do to support me in this:

If you find that you'd like to support me, there's a few things you could do. You could share posts of mine that you like, post my blog on any social media that you have, pin my posts to Pinterest, etc. That will help be greatly, because the more people who read this blog, the more chances I have of getting an audience dedicated to reading my work.
And when the time comes, buy my book if you've got some spare change.

But the main thing I'm asking of you, is that you pray. 
This is a big thing, and there's a lot of things I'll need to balance with it. School, money, family, mental health, and just generally stepping into adulthood.
So if you could pray that God leads me to the path that He desires, that I don't lose hold of life in doing this, and that God provides me with ways to earn and do what I'll need, I would be much obliged. 


I will keep you updated as this process goes. This will be a series that I'm calling "The Path to Publication", and this is the first stage, The Strategy.
The goal has no date, but I want to do this within two years. I think that's a fair amount of time; one year to write, one year to start the publishing process.

Here's to hoping, hard work, and sneaking up on a dream than tackling it and pinning it down so it can't escape. 

Cheers, friends.



           ~ Edna J. Pellen


P.S. Fun fact: Blogger refuses to accept that "publishment" is a word. But it, in fact, is! It is the act or process of making something publicly known; publication.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Poetry Dump





~True World~
By 
Edna Pellen


I am not disappointed in the world
I do not find it ugly or cruel
I am not disappointed in man,
For I am man too

And if I were disappointed in the world
And if I were to think it ugly and cruel
I would forsake all the good in the world
And all the beauty that I know is true

And if I were to be disappointed in man, 
Who would I be to speak,
When I myself make mistakes
When I myself fall weak





~A Productively Unproductive Day~
By 
Edna Pellen
{Dedicated to my friends at the Fortress}

A productively unproductive day
I have perfectly and predictably had
With my pleasantly preposterous people that I keep in my
Plainly personal parade

We have had a laugh lighter then the air in our lungs
And talks deeper then the darkest depth did dare to dream
And still in all our enjoyment we did not do a thing

Justly, joyfully, jabbering,
We wagered we had won a right to relax
And tentatively tip toeing around the tight concept of tomorrows' tasks,
We sat down to work out ourselves at last

And what we came to learn was that
just because you're talking and not walking and not working away,
Your thigh-slap laughs and emotional rafts
Are not time wasting
And it's not a shame to, every now and then, sit and
To not do a thing




~Starry Starry Night~

By
Edna Pellen

Starry, starry night
What a fright,
Yet delight,
To be alone, gazing
At this sky
In the dead of night


All alone,
Near or far from home
No matter where I roam
The stars remain aglow
Wherever I go
With company, or alone


In the heat or the cold,
To both the young and the old
They remain the same, I’m told
Shining bright and bold
On this night, so clear,
On this night so cold


They unite the then and now,
And though I couldn’t tell you how,
Their light, their pictures, bring history back around
To tie together, to bend and bow,
Generations with each other
The then, and the now


Starry night,
Guiding light,
Old and new now unified
As we gaze into the cold,
Starry, starry night



Friday, April 17, 2020

Social Distancing Support Tag










Salutations,


I suppose it was only a matter of time before I posted something in relation to the corona virus.

Today, I'm doing a blog tag, started by Ariel from the blog Within the Static, to give people a way to talk about their ails and issues with this virus.

Let's get into it.



Rules:



1. Thank the blogger who tagged you. Link back to both that blog and Within Static

Thank you again, S.J. from When Ice Sings and Stars Fall

2. Answer the tag questions
Aye-aye

3. Tag 3-5 bloggers

Will do.




Questions:



1. What's your current attitude toward COVID-19 (honestly)?



Basically what I've thought from the beginning. It is a bad, and maybe frightening, thing, but the media should not be fear mongering.
The citizens' hoarding isn't good and has only made more issues, but I understand why they're doing it. And I think of it this way:

I would not hoard food or bathroom products, but I have a large family and already need a large amount of groceries and general supplies for day-to-day life.
I know that people are going to panic and raid the stores.
If people raid the stores, I won't get what I need.
So I need to beat them there, I need to get what I need first.
But wait, I realize, everyone else probably has this same mentality.
And if everyone else doesn't want to risk not acting on it because they know that no one else will and they don't want to take that chance, the stores will certainly be empty.
And so they raid the stores anyway, because they fear what'll happen if they don't.

It's wrong, and on the surface level irrational, but when you look a little deeper like that it makes more sense.

As for the virus itself, I'm not personally afraid, because I know I have no need to be. Not because the virus isn't a big deal, and not because on the scale of danger I am basically as safe as they come. I'm not afraid because I know that whatever happens, God is in control. Whatever He allows to happen, I trust that there is good reason behind it, and I know that I, as a Christian, don't need to fear death or life because to live is Christ, but to die is to be with God.
It's a win-win.


On a "how this effects humanity" note, I think we should be more prepared for an economic crisis than the virus. The virus is here now, people are acting now, it is present and being handled as best as it can be. But people need to be prepared for how the lack of jobs, the increase of jobs, the bills, the borrowing of money from the government, the bulk-buying and store raiding, will effect the economy when this passes.
Note, they shouldn't be worried, just be prepared. I wouldn't be surprised if, at least in America, there was another Great Depression on the rise.
However, it would seem that we have had our "panic mode" by buying everything from the stores, so maybe we'll be over it when/if financial challenges present themselves. I hope so.
But if not, I thoroughly look forward to studying humanity through such a thing, as well as the virus. This is history, and I'm living in it. I am recording it, I am remembering it, and I am excited for it.
Yes, they are tragic things, and I'm not happy about all the casualties that have and will happen through this all, but I am glad to be living this part of history.

And I, again, am not afraid. Not of the virus, not of the economy. I am simply observing. I'm praying, too. But whatever happens, I know it'll be okay.





2. Has your schedule become busier or more open as a result of social distancing?



My schedule has been more open.





3. If you were public schooled before COVID hit, how has your experience with homeschooling been (whatever that looks like for you)?


N/A




4. If you were already homeschooled, how has COVID affected you or not?


It hasn't effected me much. For a while, I was making masks, which I suppose cut in to schoolwork a little bit, but that's pretty much it.




5. How are you staying connected with people?


Same as always. My closest friends are already online, and my in-person friends already communicated with me through email and whatnot.
The only real difference is that my church live streams service every Sunday instead of me being able to go to church in person.




6. How do you wish people would connect with you?


Sending hand written letters. I already loved receiving and sending them, and now I have more of an excuse to do that. I also love putting together care packages for my friends. So really, just let me send you stuff, and send some letters in return. ;)

Video calls from friends may be nice as well, if I could get over my awkwardness and actually engage in such a thing. But that isn't because I'm going crazy in quarantine. Actually, quarantine is suiting me quite well. I just wouldn't mind "hanging out" with my friends more.




7. What has been the most difficult part of social distancing?



1. Not seeing my second niece. I used to see her every week day, and now I don't see her at all.
I miss her a lot, we seemed to be growing really close before this pandemic cut it off.

2. Because I can no longer babysit due to social distancing, I'm not earning any money, and so I can't buy books (and I was in the middle of some really good series), and have had to halt my super secret mission that I've been teasing.

3. Lastly, I haven't been able to have my hair cut. Which isn't difficult, but it is a mild nuisance. My hair had been past my tailbone in length, but it was hard to maintain, and because of how thick and heavy it was I constantly had neck aches. So I planned to cut it to a bob, but my mother suggested I get it cut at a salon instead of having her do it, but then this quarantine happened and I can't do that.
So, my mother cut it to a couple of inches past my shoulders, until I can have it cut the rest of the way.




8. Have any blessings come out of it?



A few. I've been writing a lot more, talked to my friends more often, and I've had more free time and been able to sleep later than normal, which is nice.
Also, several of my friends started blogs almost at once, and because I haven't been busy, I've been able to keep up with them fairly easily. And, this tag was made, which said friends are all doing, and have tagged me in. So, this tag is helping content creators, old and new alike, simply by providing something quick to post.





9. What’s been most encouraging to you through social distancing?


There's been a few things that I thought were cool, inspiring, sweet, etc, but I myself haven't been in need of encouragement when it comes to social distancing and whatnot.
But to name a few of those things...

- My church has reacted in wonderful ways, and its members have been supporting each other a lot through this.

- Seeing my writing community pull together.

- Seeing my friends pull together.




10. Have you learned anything new or made any accomplishments during this time (even small ones)?



I have been writing a lot. You may have noticed on my WIP page that my story Roslyn has finally reached (and gone beyond!) 50k words.
This probably wouldn't have happened without my sudden extra hours of free time.

I also learned how to cheat something in Blogger's format, which made me very happy, even though I haven't used the said knowledge. I'm just glad I figured it out all on my own.




11. Is there anything you want to achieve or learn or do before social distancing ends?


At first I was going to say "no", but I suppose there actually is. 
This is the list:

Finish the first draft of Roslyn
Finally have my "resin day" to knock out some projects
Learn a bass solo


The tagged bloggers:


Mary from Wild Writing Dreams
Julia from Julia's Creative Corner
Jane from Jane Maree


The questions:

What's your current attitude toward COVID-19 and social distancing (honestly)?
Has your schedule become busier or more open as a result of social distancing?
If you were public schooled before COVID-19 hit, how has your experience with homeschooling been (whatever that looks like for you)?
If you were already homeschooled, how has COVID affected you or not?
How are you staying connected with people?
How do you wish people would connect with you?
What has been the most difficult part of social distancing?
Have any blessings come out of it?
What's been most encouraging to you through social distancing?
Have you learned anything new or made any accomplishments during this time? (Even small ones)
Is there anything you want to achieve or learn or do before social distancing ends?



Closing:


This was fun, thanks again to S.J. for the tag, and to Ariel for making it!
This is mostly unrelated to the tag, so if you're just here because I tagged you, feel free to skip this. ;)

I had a thing that I thought would be fun to include here, but couldn't think of where to put it, so I figured I'd just stick it here at the end.

When my sister, mother, and I were making masks, Liana made one for me, and I love it. It is absolutely fantastic.
Well, I came down with a cold the other day, and until we figured out what to do about it I was wearing said mask around the house (we soon after decided it wasn't a big deal and I don't have to wear it anymore).
And then I noticed that my mask matched my fedora and suit-jacket, and so I put it all on and took a picture, then showed Liana, who edited it and made it look really cool despite its comedic intention.





(If you didn't know, I've always quite liked mustaches, so it only seemed
fitting to have one on the mask.)


Well, that's all, folks. I hope you enjoyed this post.
Make sure you check out the blogs mentioned here, S.J., Ariel, Mary, Julia, and Jane are all great bloggers.


Until we meet again, I remain,



~ Edna Pellen



Happy Memorial Day

A Tear for the Fallen by Edna Pellen *Dedicated to the past veterans and the families of the lost veterans.  Thank you for your sacrifice.* ...