“Ted, the 5th grade genius and Veronica, his arch-rival, are constantly pranking each other. When the pranks spill over and ignite a grade-wide war, the teachers organize a girls vs. boys competition.”
This is a project I’ve been working on during 2020 with author Jamaal Fridge! I absolutely loved voicing his characters and discussing his work with him. It was so much fun and such a great learning experience as both an actor and an author!
You can find the audiobook on audible and read along!
I really enjoyed the editing process so I’m looking forward to the next step in my publishing journey. I’ve got lots to do so I created a schedule for myself to keep track of everything. My deadline is fast approaching, so I’ve actually been writing this blog post in between during my breaks.
I’ve been meaning to post a novel update video on YouTube, discussing this portion of my journey, but I film on my phone and it hasn’t been working properly. I’ve got a few little clips that I backed up immediately onto my laptop just in case my phone decides to be a butt again…which is like a few times a week unfortunately. I also noticed the other day that I reached 100 subscribers on my YouTube channel, which honestly surprised me because last time I checked I thought I had only 30 people subscribed to my content. I really don’t understand how the algorithm works. One of my oldest friends from elementary school actually found my channel the other day but I have no clue how to message people on YouTube. I haven’t seen her since high school! It was funny because I had been talking to one of my buddies about her the other day. I’m hoping she reads this so I can be like “Hi!!!”
The feedback that I’ve received on my manuscript has been incredibly helpful. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned. I’ve even made little notes so that I can go back and reference some of the comments and advice I’ve been given and apply it to my other work. My notebooks only got a few pages left in it now, but thankfully I have two cute ones that I’ve been saving for an occasion such as this one.
I’ve been trying to catch up on my reading during the lock down, but I suppose I’ve had to put that on hold because of all this publishing stuff. I’ve thankfully plowed through the majority of the owned books in my TBR, and ordered two more from a series I’ve been reading. One of my co-workers also gave me some excellent recommendations, so I’ll be checking those out once I’ve got a little more free time. I own one of the books from her list so I plan on starting with that one!
I wonder if anyone at work knows I have a blog?
Hi everyone! How’s life? I miss you all!
If you follow me on instragram, you’ll know that I just started playing Animal Crossing. I’ve wanted to play for a while now and have had the game for at least a month, but I didn’t have time to start the game because I was either recording or editing…or babysitting. Then when I finally had the time to play, I got busy again! My sister’s been playing on my behalf. I finally got a house in the game.
I’d better get back to work. I’ve got some things I need to wrap up.
I made this video back in 2020 after having several people mention that when it came to editing they felt overwhelmed. Most pointed out that they had know idea where to start.
I thought that by putting my tips into a video format, that it would make it easier for people. I wanted to keep it short, and to the point. I’m someone who enjoys this process, but after years of tutoring and editing for others I’ve learned how quickly a person can stress themselves out. A lot of them will say things like, “I just wanted to write a story! Why do I have to do more work?”
I get it. I do. You feel like you’ve finally completed something and then BAM, you get hit with this realization that there’s a lot more work to do. It’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to be a little stressed out by that, especially if this is your first time completing a book.
I hope that this video will be helpful to those who get overwhelmed by this process. I spend a lot of time editing myself, and something that I have learned…and this is probably one of the most important tips, is that it is important to take breaks. Step away for an hour, go for a walk, call your folks, play a game…whatever it is, take a few moments to allow yourself to unwind. Your thoughts will flow better, and you’ll be able to edit more effectively while you’re in a good headspace.
When writing there are times when I consider changing from a 1st to 3rd person narration. I like reading both and I like writing both, but I find depending on the story one works better than the other. My debut was written in 3rd person but I’d say around least 85% of my other work is in 1st person P.O.V.
Right now, I’m having this debate with myself while editing one of my projects. This book however is a stand alone project, which I miraculously churned out nineteen chapters for in a week. I still have no idea how I did that. I just couldn’t stop writing. At one point my Dad asked me about my progress and when I looked at my plot chart I went “Oh no…I’m almost at the end.”
Personally I think it was because I’d been on a writing break for so long while editing and prepping my debut for publication.
I felt like my character’s in this book were just so mad at me for dropping them two words into chapter twenty (sorry!).
I really want to capture this story properly, so I’ve decided to take notes and potentially rewrite it in 3rd person. I’m not 100% sure about the perspective change yet…but it can’t hurt to try right? What I am sure of is that the opening scene is currently lacking. The setting isn’t clear until around the 5th chapter and the first few lines are…the best way I can describe it is awkward and clumsy like me at thirteen hiding behind a book from my long-time crush during lunch like Violet from The Incredibles and then when he says hi I blush, slam my face into the book and scream internally like, “HE NOTICED ME!”
Anyway, I’d say this has been enough procrastination.
Just a heads up, the video below has swearing in it!
Since 2020 definitely did not go as planned, I decided that this year I wanted to create some more realistic goals given our current state and circumstances.
I’m hopeful and excited for this coming year. I’m grateful that my family, friends, co-workers and cast-mates have remained safe during this pandemic. I’m truly thankful. By the end of the year it was all I wished for.
Last year I completed my reading goals twice! I haven’t set my goal for this year but I think I’ll increase it somewhere to about 60 books, since I reached my goal of 30 two times. I tend to adjust an extra 5 books when I’m ahead of schedule. In just these past 3 days I’ve read 5 books. I haven’t been on a reading binge like this since…maybe high school?
On top of that my other goal is to read more diversely. This means finding new favourite authors in the genres I adore. I’ve already got a list of recommendations thanks to my lovely BookTuber/Bookstagramers along with the list I’ve compiled on my own. I’m really excited to check out all of these books!
I would also love to discover some new authors this year. As I am publishing my first novel myself, I’d love to see other’s work too and support it!
Lastly, I want to be accepted for more ARC reviews. I got my very first one of the year and I can’t wait to do more!
Now onto my writing goals. Normally I don’t create a set goal of how many books to write in a year, however I think this year I’d like to try it. I think that I’ll try to officially complete 3 of the novels I’ve been working on over the years. By officially complete I mean have them heavily edited and cleaned up for publication. This seems like it’s a reasonable goal.
I’d like to post more on this blog and on my YouTube channel. I personally prefer blogging but I’m bad for creating music or other content for YouTube and not posting it. I’ll try to be a little more consistent with that this year, although I don’t know if I’ll create an uploading schedule or anything. It depends.
I’d also love to accomplish more on my list of voice over goals. I actually managed to meet some of them during 2020 which was a huge surprise, especially since the industry was shut down. The projects I contributed to were fantastic and I learned so much while working on them!
Another thing that I want to do this year is be a little more active. I used to be fairly athletic but stopped on and off during university. With the work that I do I find I’m either sitting or standing in one place for long periods of time. So, this year I think I’ll work on getting back into shape. Exercise helps me feel better and makes it easier for me to think. It’s great for relieving stress!
I also want to learn at least 3 new recipes. I haven’t decided what yet. Something yummy!
I’d like to get better at embroidery and draw more this year. It’s really calming.
Heart is available to listen to on Youtube and Instagram! The artwork for this project was created by my lovely sister @nuggiedraws. You can find her on Instagram!
There are three songs in total: Heart, Artist and Juliet’s Song.
I wrote Heart and Juliet’s Song back when I was in the 10th Grade.
I wrote Juliet’s Song for an animated project I made for my English class at the time. Initially it was played on the piano and yes, it is based on the play Romeo and Juliet. I re-recorded and used the song again in university for one of my Shakespeare course finals…and then decided to return to it again to create an acoustic version on the guitar.
Heart, the title track I wrote the same year. If I’m being honest, it isn’t the most emo song I’ve ever written. It’s pretty sad though. It was one of the first songs I wrote with my guitar. The song kept resurfacing over the years at different points in my life. At times I wish the song were longer, but at the same time I don’t think it needs to be. It always just felt right. It’s definitely the most personal song I’ve released. I actually shared the song when I entered the Zepeto Idol competition on Instagram a while back.
Artist I wrote initially as a poem this year and ended up putting music to it on a whim. I actually wrote the song while procrastinating a chapter edit for my debut. Whenever I get stuck on a scene, I try writing something else, like a poem to inspire me. In this case it worked but then I ended up with this recording hanging out on my laptop…and then, I decided that for once I’d actually share the music I’d written versus a cover song.
I hope you enjoy listening to Heart and that you’ll check out @nuggiedraws (I have her gif on my blogs homepage! Cute right?)
Tonight I tuned in to Bookish Realm’s livestream, where she broke down and discussed where we’ve come as a community–by community I mean the reading community–over these past six months.
It wasn’t an easy conversation to have. Tears were shed…and I have seen many tears from these wonderful creators, writers and reviewers. Too many tears. 2020 should be nicknamed the Year of the Tear. Anyway, her final point in the live–one that I thought as she was saying it–was that “Google is free.”
To summarize, she was talking about how when people act like they don’t have any access to books by BIPOC authors. Which to the BIPOC creators and reviewers is an absolute joke because Google is the easiest place to start. To prove it, I decided to do a quick search, one that was recommended by her: romances featuring a black couple.
Well I googled and although there are a lot with interracial couples, I am annoyed at how few books being promoted are ones with two happy black people in love.
To clarify I’m mixed race. Black Mom. White Dad. I’m making this clear because despite my–well to myself–clearly mixed features I did have someone on Twitter assume I was white. Like damn, I know I need a tan but you don’t need to rub it in!
Anyway, I know what its like to see your family being poorly represented by the media. The reason why I’m annoyed with the lack of promotion of two black characters in love is because despite trying to do better…which I do believe they are, they’re still putting focus on this idea that in order for this black female character to achieve happiness she needs to marry a white man. Which is a whole other thing that I don’t even know how to unpack. I don’t even known if it’s my place to unpack that…I’m the product of an interracial relationship and I’ve been in interracial relationships. It doesn’t mean I’m an expert. This type of relationship is the norm for me. However, I still want to see HEALTHY relationships between black couples being portrayed by the media in books and on television.
I like seeing a happy family, living life, raising their kids…but for some reason the media likes to shove black trauma pieces at us instead. Don’t they know you could have a love story like Cory and Topanga but with BIPOC characters?
I wish I could remember exactly what she said on the stream about this because it was so perfect. It reminded me of a tweet I saw about how this girl wanted to see a romance film featuring an interracial couple where one of the love interests wasn’t white, for example Indigenous and Caribbean. There are relationships like this in the real world and yet I haven’t seen them portrayed anywhere. Actually I lied, that one show on Netflix with Devery Jacobs has her character dating a black actress in the second season. Sadly I can’t remember…THE ORDER. That’s it. Campy horror, wevewolf show that screams Canadian horror so bad…that I can’t help but love it. I love me some campy made in Canada horror shows haha. But there, like…it wasn’t difficult for them to portray this type of relationship! So to that girl who tweeted that, stuff is out there. Just have to find it and then promote it like crazy so more of it gets made!
And that leads me to my next point, as readers we need to do better in what we choose to read and promote. As Bookish Realm said, we should track what we read and compare numbers. How many BIPOC authors have you read in 2020? How many do you plan on reading in 2021? If you’re like me and read a lot of manga are you going to try and find manga and comics made by BIPOC artists?
I’m aware that conversations about race can be uncomfortable, but I’m a person that honestly learns better through having discussions with others. Respectful, open discussions where each person feels like they are being heard…because discussions can make us vulnerable.
The discussion tonight, had a lot of people in tears because there is such a strong need for change and yet when it came down to it, six months later things remained ultimately the same. I don’t want another six months to go by without seeing some sort of change. Especially when so many people in this community have been working their butts off to create a place where all of us feel welcome, safe and loved!
I truly believe…and maybe it’s because I’m kind of an optimistic daydreamer type of person…but I want to believe that each little change we make can create an overall greater change for the community.
Now, here’s what I found in my quick Google search:
A lot of what I read romance-wise is shojo so I’m not too familiar with these authors…however, O magazine posted a list of the 30 Best Black Romance Novels.
On the Goodread’s list I see more books that I recognize. I’ve seen them on display in bookstores or a friend or family member was reading them. I’ve seen Make a Scene haha. Pun intended.
I honestly think, and this is because I don’t really read Adult Romance genres…or I should say read romance but it’s usually the sub-genre (unless its shojo then it’s all romance, first love blah blah blah)…I’m going to challenge myself to find more comics, manga and webtoons created by BIPOC that are like the ones I enjoy reading already. Superheroes and romance are my main loves with comics (especially magical girls!). I’m going to try and research this a little tonight and see what I come up with!