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Happy New Year! + 2017 Goals

1 Jan

I feel like, for many, 2016 was a troubling year. I look around me and see so much sadness about events and losses from last year. Then I look at my own life and realize that my experience has been surprisingly positive in comparison.

My biggest loss of 2016 was my boyfriend “R” moving back to Chicago. I could have let that ruin my year. I could have remained very torn up and bitter and depressed about it. I could have let it destroy our relationship. Instead, it’s become an opportunity for me and “R” to grow as individuals and share our experiences and lessons we’ve learned along the way.

If anything, it’s made our relationship stronger—a result many people in long-distance relationships don’t get to experience—and for that, I am grateful.

In other areas of my life, I’ve rededicated myself to completing work on my first novel. Those who have followed my blog for any substantial amount of time and are familiar with my journey while working on The Elementalist: Rise of Hara (TEROH) know that this is a pretty big deal for me. It’s been a struggle and continues to be so, but I’ll get to that later.

Anyway, I’m not normally into setting yearly goals, but this year I decided I should set a few because there are things that are important to me that I want to make progress on or cross off my list before the end of 2017. So this year, I’m setting 3 goals for myself. Continue reading

Story Excerpt – The Elementalist: Rise of Hara, Chapter 1

5 Dec

Hello, everyone! So I’m still in Summerlin and had a really, really long night (pulled a 13.5 hour shift). Regardless, it’s been a while since I posted a new video for my YouTube channel, so I decided to record an excerpt of my WIP, The Elementalist: Rise of Hara. I actually read it out loud.

Just like I’ve been doing during my edits!

This one starts not at the very beginning of the story but in the protagonist’s first chapter. The story is setup in “parts,” and Part I is told from another main character’s POV to introduce what’s going on elsewhere in the world, leading up to the protagonist’s role–which I introduce in Part II.

I may record the second chapter sometime, as well, as it introduces the shady government agent who approaches the protagonist, Voi. But we’ll see.

I return home in 3 days, after which I’ll be able to get back to my read-out-loud edits. (I’m not doing it during this trip only because I think differently at night and tend to miss things after 10+ hour shifts…)

What did you think?

Do you like the story so far?  Is it something you would be interested in continuing reading?  I have a few people who’ve volunteered to be beta readers already (yay!), whom I’ll be sending out my manuscript to early next year, so it could change based on their feedback. We’ll see.  But that’s what I have for now.

Anyway, thanks for watching/reading/listening!

Dieselpunk, Fantasy & Fiction ‘Grammin’

24 May

Remember how I said I was thinking about starting an Instagram account related to my Element 7/WIP project?

Well, here it is! (I have my Instagram feed on the bottom of my sidebar here, as well.)

Basically, I’ll be posting about anything awesome that’s related to dieselpunk, fantasy novels and elemental magic as well as technology and fashion from the early 1900s.

Now, back to editing. (Hoping to get through another scene by the end of the night.)

No-Gos + AZSFW

17 Apr

So…the writing group I’ve been trying to join finally reviewed my story sample and got back to me.  They said although they (quote) “really loved” my work, that I have “major talent” and was at the top of their new member list, unfortunately the one writer who said she was leaving decided to stay after all.

No more openings, for now, but they said they’d love to keep me on the list if a spot becomes available.

So both good and bad news there.

AZSFW

Well, I’m not one for waiting around for things I really want, lol, so I got this idea that came into my head: why don’t I start my own local writing group?

My whole thing is that I’d like to actually meet other writers face-to-face, in addition to getting feedback and something that will hold me more accountable to progressing on my novel.  I’m always progressing, but it’s so slooow…  I don’t want to use a writing group as a crutch, but I do think it could be a positive motivator for me.

So.

AZSFW LogoI went ahead and put together a quick, preliminary website/blog for a writing group I’d like to call “Arizona Speculative Fiction Writers”–or “AZ Spec-Fic Writers”/”AZSFW.”  It’s basically a draft and it’s totally open to input and other people’s ideas, particularly from folks who’d like to join.

Anyway, here’s the website, if anyone wants to take a quick peek. 🙂

Right now I’ve been seeking out other writers on a dating site, actually (haha), called OkCupid.  It’s got a fantastic search engine for this kind of thing!  Makes things pretty easy.

So yeah, just sending out some invites right now and seeing who bites.  If it catches enough interest…hey, I just might have a viable writing group on my hands!

In Other News…

I’ve still been crazy busy with my two jobs, though less so with the business.  Next step on that latter one is heavy marketing and networking, which isn’t my strong suit but is really important.  So yeah, I gotta finish putting out some flyers in my neighborhood, for starters, then drop off some business cards to folks who’ve expressed a desire to help spread the word about my business.

In short, I’ve got a LOT on my plate.  Busy busy!

I do hope all my readers are doing well. 😀 In the meantime, I’m sure I’ll post more developments later…eventually.

Until then, peace out!

A Tribute To Poison Ivy: Best Villainess Ever!

18 Jul

So The Dark Knight Rises will be out soon (totally psyched!), and it got me thinking about some old school Batman–namely the animated TV series.

I should explain that I was never a comic book person, you see.  It just wasn’t part of my “growing up” experience.  More recently I’ve bought some, but it’s still a pretty rare occurrence.  So essentially, everything I do know about Batman has come from the animated series that used to air (on WB, if I’m not mistaken).

Anyway, for some reason I’ve also been thinking about villains lately.  When it comes to the more recent Christopher Nolan movies the Joker inevitably comes to mind…for reasons I hope I need not explain!  (Another one of my favorite villains is the Operative from Serenity.  He was very intelligent and a skilled martial artist but also very unconventional–I mean the combination of his sword, the inflicted paralysis upon his opponents and the archaic fall-on-said-sword ritual in a futuristic sci-fi setting was just mind-blowingly awesome, imo.)  When I think back to the TV show, however, the villain that most stood out to me was actually…

Poison Ivy

Why her, you may ask?  Um, well let’s see… She’s:

  1. beautiful
  2. graceful
  3. seductive
  4. hard to resist (we won’t mention those *ehem* noxious toxins…)
  5. has this weird but completely awesome obsession with plants & the mad ability to control them (she’d fit in nicely with the world of Element 7, actually)

…BUT…once you get past all those things, she is still pretty evil–the only reason Batman was able to resist, imo.  (I always thought they should get together, but t’was not meant to be.)

Le sigh.

I love her so much that she has been somewhat of an inspiration for one of my characters–you know, that traitorous double agent I’ve written once or twice about.  (She’s reported dead but still an important part of the story.)

Anyway, you should totally check out this 2min. YouTube video featuring Poison Ivy and relive the wicked glory that was she.

Who are some of your favorite villains/villainesses?

How come?

Looky-Loo

29 Feb

Not much to blog about this week.

Lame!

But…I kinda changed some things around here, if you haven’t noticed.  Just little things, you know, ’cause I don’t like being cookie-cutter.

Anyway, tell me what you think!

In the meantime, I’ll try and think of something meaningful to blog about…

Whoops!

23 Apr

Sorry if anyone got a whole bunch of “new” posts in their readers from me.  I was just updating links and stuff from my older posts from Blogger.  I guess it just decided to republish them here, heh.

Oh, the joys of migration… (If that ever happens again, you’ll know why!)

~Tiyana

Hello World!

22 Mar

I like that WordPress made that title of the first post, so I’m keeping it.

So… I broke down and made a blog on WordPress.  And, after I get some opinions on the new site, I may soon purchase a domain in my name–aaaah!  I have to be honest: I feel like I’m experiencing a blogger identity crisis.  It’s scary.  “Whaaaa?  I can’t use my name as a website name; that’s crazy!  Then everyone will absolutely know it’s me doing the blogging (despite the fact that I put my name and picture in it anyways)!”

*sobs*

Much ado about nothing, I know.  I used to have a pseudonym of sorts: “yoyopogo,” or simply “yoyo.”  It was kind of nice.

Anyway, I’ve been ogling WordPress ever since I first laid eyes on it…about two weeks after I published my first real “writer’s” post on Blogger. -__- I was immediately jealous of those who had WordPress but thought it’d be too much change if I just upped and switched all of a sudden.

…However, I’m loving the simplicity of this particular blog theme (Bueno!), and I think I could catch onto WordPress fairly quickly.  It’s a new look that’s closer to my design ideals, and simplicity–believe it or not–is one of them.  Also, this style is much easier on the eyes.  As fellow blogger Jay Noel pointed out, black backgrounds may be dramatic but also pretty harsh on the eyes.

So, then, why not change the background on Blogger and be done with it, right?

*mumbles things*

I don’t know… I think I’d like to stick with WordPress.

>_<

Would anyone be mad at me for doing so?  I hope not.  I hate making big changes, but this place is really lovely!  (It also forces me to customize a little less, which means I have less room to make stupid design decisions, heh.)

Now, if I could just figure out how to get the “follower” widgets onto here…and if I don’t lose followers, heh, then this one may just be a keeper.  I don’t know, what do you think?

Just a Heads Up:

13 Mar

>I’ve come to the realization that the topic of worldbuliding is far too complex to cover in just one or two posts–not in any detailed and practical way, anyhow.  Though trust me, I tried.  (I mean, what was I thinking?  Really.)

So here’s what I’m gonna do: Normally I try to post something only on Wednesdays, but since this topic is so diverse and has so many interesting things to talk about, I’m going to post something each day this week starting on Monday.  Consider it a series on worldbuilding!  It should be fun.

And since I’m on Spring Break this week, I can actually afford the splurge.  (Besides, I’ve got most of it written already.)

Okay, so that’s all for now. 🙂  Have a Happy Sunday!

-Tiyana

Sorry!

15 Feb

>I know changing the look of my blog in the middle of it is bad form, but I really did want something more graphic for the top banner.  Using color can be tricky.

Bear with me.  It should be final after today.