Wow I did not realize how long it has been since I last posted! (February was so long ago!)
I'm sorry guys. I'd say that life has been busy but that's literally everyone's story so I won't use that as an excuse. I haven't been idle in the writing department though. I dropped off the grid these past few months because I undertook a different venture. Writing short stories.
It all started a few months ago when I was feeling Disney in my soul. I sat down with my takeout and plushies and pulled the live action Cinderella on Netflix. (Not the one with Brandy although that one is cool.) At one point in the movie someone asks the heroine why she simply doesn't leave and she gives some pious response about staying because her mother and father loved the place so much. (Which kills me because she moved into the freaking castle with her new hubby.)At which point I told my horde of plushies that I would have burned the entire place down and walked away.
Now I realize that this thought stems from my own personal (extreme) dislike of people telling me what to do, but the picture of Cinderella being backlit by a burning building as she walked away from it didn't leave me. It got me thinking instead. What kind of Cinderella would commit arson and walk away without a care in the world. My answer: a spiteful one with exactly one care left to give.
Just like that, my story was born. It was like all the stars aligned right as the last square of the rubix cube clicked into place. I freaking loved it. I had to do something about it. Grabbing the nearest notebook I spent a solid week writing it down. I had so much fun throwing Eleanor and Spade down on paper. I teared up a little bit when her father became ill. I literally created a brainstorm map to come up with the most toolish (Within the PG rating) way to introduce the prince. I finished writing everything and thought to myself; wow. I have a story. A full and complete story with characters and a plot line and jokes. This doesn't normally happen for me. I'm pretty spectacular at creating fantasy characters and situations in my head but stringing them together in an actual coherent story line is a first for me. Obviously I had to share this accomplishment with the world. Thus this beauty (ish) was born.
A friend asked me why didn't I publish my story on wattpad or a fanfic site like other aspiring writers? Honestly? It just didn't occur to me. I was so enamored by the idea of having a book out in the world with my name on it that I didn't really stop to consider other alternatives. On top of having a one track mind I'm also completely pigheaded so when I decided to publish Cinder In The Waves as a short story I steamrolled through any obstacles without a second thought.
Here's the thing about steamrolling. When the devils in the details you tend to miss the finer things. Cinder In The Waves is definitely my guinea pig project. I wanted to publish it as fast as possible while I still had some downtime at work so I ended up not paying as much attention to the finer print on the instructions that I should have. (Also my computer is a grumpy machine that is slow to accept change so a lot of my trial and error came about as a result of me trying to keep Spiro happy with me. We're fine now.)As a result Cinder in the Waves is not as visually polished as I would like it to be. It took me a little while to figure out why the ebook didn't flow properly and I didn't play around with the setting of the manuscript creator enough to find all the nifty features that makes a page more visually appealing but I finished it. It was published. I rode the high of that accomplishment for about a week.
It wasn't until I saw the website of an author that I deeply admire as a visitor to this blog that I thought I might of shot myself in the foot. I'm pretty sure I made every single rookie mistake in the book and that's probably going to be held against me.
Oh well. No point in dwelling on past mistakes. They're only crippling if you don't learn from them right? If nothing else can be said I do at least try to learn from my mistakes. And what better way to prove that I can be taught than to publish another short story showcasing all of my corrections? BOOM!
Pearls before Swine: A little mermaid story. This one is different from Cinders In The Waves in a lot of different ways. It's longer for one. Nearly twice the length as my first one. Two, every single mistake that I made in my first story I fixed in this one, so it flows properly, the font can be adjusted and it's all around prettier. Third I hired a friend of mine to create an awesome picture to be used as cover art. And the biggest difference?! Pearls before Swine is available in paperback Ooohhhh. Aaahhhh. That's so nifty says the crowd of impressed readers. I know right?! Originally I hadn't planned on making this one available for paperback but then I thought...Why not? (That seems to be my reason for doing most things these days)
Converting it to paperback format had it's own set of challenges but in a couple weeks I'll have physical proof in my grubby hands. I seriously can't wait for my proof copy to come in because I have every intention of waving it over my head in my parents class (Once a week I teach some of the parents of my students and they think I'm adorable) so they can congratulate me on doing a good job.
I have to say, a lot more thought and research went into the making of Pearls Before Swine.(But not nearly enough as you'll see in a moment) Leimomi is a man eating mermaid that wants to learn how to hula dance. When I realized that all my knowledge of hula dancing came from Lilo and Stitch and one random youtube video I knew that wasn't going to cut it. I think I watched every single Merrie Monarch winner and top finalists from 2009 until now. (If you don't know what I'm talking about look it up. People are talented) Another thing I wanted to emphasize with Leimomi was that she isn't human and never will be. She's a monster and completely unapologetic about it.
I also wanted to take care in how I presented Kaiholo. As a deaf child he interacts with the world around him differently but I didn't want to dehumanize him. Or portray him inaccurately. There is a deaf community in town here in Korea so I tried to apply my own observations combined with the opinions of deaf people who have posted their wants for a deaf character on pinterest to create Kaiholo. I really wanted him to come across as an ordinary child thrown in unusual circumstances.
Another thing I realized as I was writing this story is that I think like a white person.
Yeah I know, but stay with me here. My default imaginary setting for anything to do with sailing is Pirates of the Caribbean style. Big European ships with flags and gun powder. Spanish Galleons being sunk off the coast of Florida. Gasparilla Festival of Tampa Bay. That's my go to setting. It wasn't until after I published Pearls Before Swine (Literally two minutes after I hit the approve button) that I remembered Polynesian sailors used canoe style boats. I wanted to kick myself. It's a careless mistake. It was very white of me. I didn't properly immerse myself in Polynesian culture so my natural mindset leaked through.
Here's my advice to anyone wanting to use any culture as a basis: Do your freaking research so you don't look like an ass. (like me) If you're going to step outside your own culture don't be careless about it. From my own experience I know that people like to share about themselves and their way of life. When in doubt, ask. (Politely of course. No one likes condescending jerks)
Are you interested? I hope you are. I really enjoyed creating these stories and I would love for you to check them out for yourself. Do me a favor? If you liked the book, LEAVE A REVIEW!!! Even if it's nothing more then a star rating anything helps me out. Please don't force me to steal the identities of my siblings and leave reviews myself. That's a little lame and I'm almost desperate enough to do it.
If you have already read my stories and are itching for more have no fear. My next one is already in the works. Pudding and Pie: A murder mystery suspense. I was literally cackling with glee as I was outlining the plot. A grizzly insomniac police detective must join forces with a pretty boy Pinkerton private eye to hunt down a serial killer in New York City whose target is women cheating on their husbands. I fully intend to have it published by the end of July so if you don't see it please rise up in rebellion and demand answers for why I'm so bad at keeping deadlines.
My name is Arielle. (Not actually named after the mermaid, but a character from Thundar the Barbarian) I am an English teacher in South Korea.