Regrets


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Regrets are an odd thing, because people end up regretting a lot of things in their life and then they often end up regretting all the time they spent regretting. Go figure. I deal with regret like everyone else, and I’ve processed a lot of it very recently.

For context: my laptop hard drive recently crashed for unknown reasons, and I lost a 60,000 word novel I’d recently written (among other things.) As any fellow writer will know, this is pure devastation anyway, but that particular book was very personal and meant to be written only once. I’ve really regretted loosing that book.

However, through the last two weeks I’ve worked through the emotion called regret and I want to share how I handled it with you today.

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And of course before I move forward I want to say this: feeling regret is not a bad thing.

Regret is a legitimate emotion that signals to your soul that there is something to be mourned, forgiven, learned from and released as best you can. Everyone deals with regret in their own time and way; so it’s important to know that the emotion itself is not bad. Now, choosing to live in regret for weeks, months, or years is when regret becomes bad. 

How I Deal With Regret

Mourn your losses. I’ve learned that when I feel regret, or any type of sadness, to not smother the feeling. I don’t think causing humongous scenes wherever you go is good, but with family or friends, it’s okay to talk out your sadness and cry if you can. Crying allows the negative emotion of anxiety to escape the body and soul–it’s natural, it’s cleansing, and it’s healthy.

The evening I was told my hard drive was gone, I cried for hours in my room and was very sad for the rest of the night; the guilt and pain dwindled by morning enough for me to work like normal. I don’t care what type of regrets you have–relationships, words, preventable issues or things that weren’t even your fault–if you lose something, mourn it until you feel some relief.

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Forgive yourself. Make room for mistakes in your life by forgiving yourself (or whomever might need to be forgiven, if you have regrets over a broken relationship of any sort.) I was still very mad at myself for not backing up my work, or emailing it to my sister, even after all my crying. After several days of frustration, I finally said, “That was a mistake on my part, that I now recognize and can fix.”

If I can’t make room for mistakes in my life, how will I ever grow as a person?

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You can’t change the past. I believe God uses “cause and effect” to guide lives to touch other lives that touch other lives in ways we don’t even understand. Things happen for a reason and things happen in the past, where we can’t touch them. What happened, has happened; now I gotta deal with it. Look at it however you want, but regretting the past does not fix the problem, or the heartache, or make you feel better.

Loosing my book was devastating and agonizing but it happened. Am I now going to just sit here and be resentful? What good would that do me to regret something that can’t be reversed? From what I see, this where a lot of people get stuck; they want to change what can’t be undone, while neglecting the future. That’s very sad and it’s a cycle that will continue unless one faces the front again.

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Don’t live in regret, but do learn from it. The thing about the past is that it’s what you do in the present. So, take regret as signal that something went wrong last time and learn from it. You messed up in that relationship by doing this and such. Well, now you know what not to do now. You should have turned left instead of right. Well, now you know what to do now. I lost my book because I was not proactive and should have saved it on a USB and a secondary hard drive. Well, now I know what to do now.

We need to stop looking out the back window and face the oncoming road. Grip that steering wheel with both hands.

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Try to find positives; the “if it hadn’t”s. Finding the good in the bad is the key putting regret to sleep–this ties in a bit with the point I made just above. Sometimes its really hard to look at regrets and find positive things, but they’re always at least one. If you can’t find one, that means it’s coming. You will see it one day.

I should have saved my story as soon as it was finished but now I know I should do that from now on: a positive thing! Thank God the laptop was under warranty; a positive. Most of my stuff was saved; a positive. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

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This is not a cure-all, “gone forever” way for getting rid of Mr. Regret, sadly. I’ve gotten through these steps personally, and I still feel regret over my story, in small ways, every once and while. But if we forgot our regrets, we would simply make the same mistake over and over.

Besides, there will always be something to regret in our lives. We are humans who make mistakes, after all. Once we figure out one area of life, another area will soon fall apart and we’ll have to deal with that problem. Again.

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But please, don’t live in regret forever. You don’t want to regret that either.

~Jamie

The Art of Characters (a link up)


So, today I’m linking up with Victoria at Stori Tori’s Blog and her link up The Art of Characters. TheArtofCharactersButtonWithText2“This link-up focuses on your characters from the outside and how your character’s description can tell a lot about your character. I’m hoping this will not only help pure writers, but also writers/artists to draw their characters more.”

This is a fantastic idea and something I should ponder on more (this month’s focus was supposed to be on couples because of Valentine’s but I failed to see how to make that work, so I’m not doing that part.) I’ll be using my new main character (still going with the temporary name Zoe) to fill this out; I’m curious to my own answers. XD

(I do not have any images my character.)

1.) What does your character’s eye, skin, and hair color tell about him/her? Within the world of Immersed, a Multi-Player Fantasy Role-Playing Virtual Reality Game, my main character, after nearly choosing the human race, chooses to play in the avatar of a demon. (Demons have purple skin with unique black patterned splotches and black hair, along with a tail and cloven feet. No horns.) Zoe think she’s being unique by choosing an avatar that’s not human, but she’s not as original as she thinks she is.  I have not really decided on Zoe’s features outside the game–she is only described as her avatar.

2.) What does your character’s hairstyle tell about him/her? Zoe’s female demon avatar has black full hair that reaches past her shoulders. When she first enters the game, she wears it loose but as she becomes serious about dungeon crawling, she pulls it back (or will wear it under a helmet.) I haven’t put too much thought into anything beyond that.

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3.) What does your character’s default outfit tell about him/her? I actually haven’t created Zoe’s default outfit yet, she’s still in the basic garb of a new player. However, since she can and will be able to buy herself armor, charms, and an identifying outfit, I’ll be able to bring out her personality more. What I currently know about her is that while she’s not a genius, she does know common sense and that will show with the clothing she chooses.

4.) Does he/she have an object(s) he/she carries around a lot? She has a trademark tiny dagger that delivers more harm against monsters than it’s meant to and she carries a small trinket with her as a good luck charm, even though it’s not technically a “charm” from the game’s data base. It was given to her by a merchant on her first day within Immersed.

5.) Does he/she have any particular scars or birthmarks? Generally, once healed, avatars don’t keep scars from previous battles. However, on Zoe’s real body, she has a small scar on her thumb where a rose thorn stabbed her when she was 14.

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6.) Does he/she have any piercings or tattoos? In both reality and virtual reality, she has pierced ears. You can get tattoos in the game, but she does not have any.

7.) How does he/she carry themselves? Shoulders back? Eye contact? Eyes down? Slumped shoulders? Zoe is about eighteen (Can you believe I have not pegged down an official age and name for a main character yet?!) so she sees herself at prime of her youth; she has bright eyes, straight shoulders and a quirk of curiosity to her step.

8.) What is his/her default expression? Smiling? Frowning? Solemn? She has an inquisitive, curious facial expression. She’s not completely trusting of everyone she meets or sees, but she’s intrigued about virtual reality, and her curiosity comes across through her face.

9.) Does he/she wear make-up or face paint? She does not wear either in virtual reality, but in her real life she sometimes wears mascara and lip gloss.

I like the snake-ish helmet here...

I like the snake-ish helmet here…

10.) Does his/her physical appearance change at any time? For example: If they have a power do their eyes glow or hair turn blue? When she executes magic that is only used by the demon race, her eyes flash a soft blue gleam. However, her body doesn’t really react to other magical powers or skills–at least, not that I have developed, but this is something I should come up for other characters.

Bonus: Does the character change his/her appearance to impress the love interest? Currently, I’m not planning on giving Zoe a love interest. I choose this because I think fantasy and sci-fi books use the “in love” symptom between the female lead and a male presence too often as motivation or tension, and I want to try something completely different!

I really appreciated this link up, it’s definitely given me a better idea of my character and different aspects of her two lives that I can use throughout the story! Thanks for reading! :)

~Jamie

Blogger Recognition Award


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So, once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I got nominated TWICE to do the Blogger Recognition Award, which I was very excited about. I’m AT LAST getting around to doing it! Horray!

So both S from A Free Mind and Hamlette from Hamlette’s Solioquy nominated me! Thank you very much, gals! I enjoy both your blogs a lot! I nominate you back in spirit. <3

Rules and Regulations:

BR_Award+ Select 15 blogs to nominate
+ Thank the person who nominated you
+ Give a brief story of how your blog got started and a piece or two of advice for new bloggers.
+ Attach the award
+ Comment on each nominee’s blog and let them know that you’ve nominated them
+ Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night

My Story Is Short:

I blogged for a year on my mother’s blog before beginning my own when I was nearly sixteen years old. This is that same blog domain with the same title. I simply needed a place to let my fingers write and connect with others on my own. I started out talking about Star Wars–A LOT. As I’ve gotten older, my blog has become more personal and less entertainment focused–it’s whatever I want it to be.

Interesting fact: something I wish I’d done, just for fun, is use a pseudonym when I started out; I think it would have been fun to have a “secret identity,” you could say. XD

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My Advice to Blogging Beginners:

1. Do it for you. Comments and stats are amazing but don’t be so focused on them as you start–9 out of 10, you’ll be discouraged. Instead, focus on you; how you write, what you like to write about, and your blogging style. Once you are comfortable in your own blogging skin, comments and stats can be your focus if you wish.

2. Follow and comment on blogs that you like. COMMUNITY is important. Give them awards; be nice and thoughtful; be consistent. The authors are just like you; they will appreciate your sincerity and will most likely come check your blog out in return along with their followers who consistently see your name and link in the comments. This is the best way to get traffic as you start!

3. Your blog’s presentation is important. While people say “don’t judge a book by its cover” we all still do it and that includes blog browsing. If your blog looks sloppy, cheap, or is hard to read, people will leave without a second thought. Make sure your pictures aren’t too big or small and make your blog easy to navigate through. The longer your blog can keep someone browsing, the better. Don’t use confusing color palettes or fancy fonts or dark themes: if we can’t focus easily on what you have to say, we’ll go find another blog that we can read. As long as your blog can be read and viewed without much bother, you’re good!

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I now recognize these bloggers: Victoria GraceJames, Faith, Robyn, Rachel, Sky, Maribeth, Emily, Miranda, Tara, Tara, Ruth, and Vellvin. All of you are great bloggers with great blogs! I don’t care you whether you do or don’t want to do this tag, but I do want you to know that I think you’re swell! <3

~Jamie

My Online Highlights || New Blog Series


Favorite Blog Posts

I Read: 

I Reviewed:

Twitter

What I’ve Been Watching

  • Gourmet Girl Graffiti (divine looking food–this is my comfort show right now!)
  • Modern Family S5 (as funny as ever–Mitch and Cam are my baes. XD)
  • The Garden of Words (PROBABLY THE BEST ANIMATION I’VE EVER SEEN.)
  • Friends S1 (it’s okay; probably won’t be as good as Seinfeld though.)
  • Death Parade (still fantastically unpredictable and gorgeous)
  • The Walking Dead (that mid-season return blew me out of the water. 8-O)

I also saw Horns but it wasn’t as good as that fantastic trailer. Just watch that instead. Or Harry Potter. XD

We Heart It

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Loving my anime collection a lot. I find so many inspiring scenery pieces, character faces, and atmospheric artwork that really inspires me on a creative level!

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Today I’m also featuring my Carnivals collection because I’m still reading “The Night Circus” and am back in love with everything circus/carnival. <3

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I’ve been building “100 Levels of Immersed” soundtrack for writing. I’m sharing the playlist, though you might not understand it–it’s an odd collection of fantasy music, techno music, and a mish-mash of video game and anime soundtracks that I really liked. At least it makes sense to me though. XD Listen at your own risk.

Also: this cracked me up. I don’t care if you don’t even know who these two people are, it’s fantastic. XD It made me laugh when I was really sad. :)

Writing Updates:

I’m continuing from where I left off on “100 Levels of Immersed”, even though I’ve lost the first two chapters. I’ll do better if I just keep going then trying to rewrite the opening. The original first draft deadline was February 28th and while I don’t think I can write the full draft by next Saturday, I’m still going to make a honest try! As of this moment, I’m at 1175 words. *fingers crossed*


 

I hope to do this series at least once, maybe twice, a month.

As you can see, I’ll link to music, my social media, discuss the entertainment I’m watching, and link to fellow bloggers’ posts that I’ve enjoyed, found interesting, or helpful! I hope to feature a lot of my friends in the upcoming year, so if you have a blog you’d like to me to read, be sure to let me know below!

While I’m still building this post format, are there any other topics you’d like to see me cover every month? Should I make a section on how I’m working on this year’s bucket list? What more would you like to see–let me know while I’m still developing format! <3

~Jamie

To-Read: Part 1 || Topic: Creative Writing


I haven’t done a list in a while, so I thought I might as well blog this year’s To-Read lists. XD Currently, I have each of these books borrowed from the library and am peeking into each of them–so this list is something of an impressions post. I think it would be handy to record my thoughts on them, since I won’t be able to read them all at once.

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Bullies Bast#rds & B#tches: How to Write the Bad Guys of Fiction by Jessica Page Morrell. This looks like a good read, with certain chapters covering the different types of villains. While I think I need more help writing compelling, realistic heroes (more practice, is more like it,) it never hurts to learn more on the baddie topic. They can also be tougher to write.

Crafting Novels & Short Stories from the editors of the Writer’s Digest. THIS book looks like one I might personally buy just so I can underline and dog tag pages. Just from the Getting Started intro I wanted to mark up a dozen different lines. It looks sharp, smart, and to-the-point. Definitely high at the top of the list to read!

Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds: Indispensable Wisdom and Cautionary Advice for Writers by George Singleton. This one looks awesome. Everything is in short paragraphs which are quick to read and to-the-point. Some of them are like fortune cookies–I like honest writing advice in this format. There are also cute pictures dashed in too. I wouldn’t be surprised if this one became a “want-to-buy” as well.

The Daily Writer: 366 Meditations to Cultivate a Productive and Meaningful Writing Life by Fred White. I’ve actually borrowed this about four years ago so it feels pretty new to me, lol. There’s a page for each day with a prompt at the bottom. I love the cover and the layout and the diverse topics for reading. Another possible “must buy”.

The Pocket Muse and The Pocket Muse: Endless Inspiration by Monica Wood. I LOVE. THESE. BOOKS. Their pretty small but are bursting with inspiration. Between each cover they’re filled with images and prompts set up in unique ways to inspire a creative spark! I own “Endless Inspiration” but I think I’ll need to get the rest of the series too! (Not pictured.)

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Writing: A User Manual by David Hewson. Already sent this one back, but I think once I get through some of the others I’ll come back to it…looked a little like dull reading, but who knows for sure. XD

Word Hero: A Fiendishly Clever Guide to Crafting the Lines that get Laughs, go Viral and Live Forever by Jay Heinrichs. Full of colorful words that aren’t too ridiculous, this book is exactly as it says it is: how to use words in a memorable way! I look forward to reading through this one to widen my vocabulary and use those words well! I have high hopes for this one!

Writing Monsters: How to Craft Believably Terrifying Creatures to Enhance Your Horror, Fantasy, and Science Fiction by Philip Athans. I’ve read the foreword, intro, and the first chapter, and the author seems to have a great perspective of what exactly a monster is or can be, so I have very high hopes for this book. I love that in the beginning there’s a section for filling out details for your monster, immediately equipping me as a writer! This book looks fantastic, and I’ll be reading through this one first as I need monster ideas and tips for my video game novel.

Write Starts: Prompts, Quotes and Exercises to Jumpstart Your Creativity by Hal Zina Bennett. I actually own this one already, I ordered it on Amazon to reach the free shipping level, lol. More short chapters with neat exercises and prompts! I hope to get some good creativity spurts out of this one!

Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques For exceptional Storytelling by Donald Maass. The title itself made me pull it off the shelf. Sometimes certain how-to-write/publish books are becoming dated as the style of storytelling changes, so I like to find a book that’s aware of the times. Hopefully it will be worth the time to peruse through the pages.

That’s the end of part 1 (yes, I have a second stack of books just from the creative writing section.) Have any of you read/used books on writing, prompts or publishing that were helpful? If you do/don’t read these types of books, why or why not?

~Jamie

I’m Back to Blogging


 

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Well, my computer is not fixed but I know what the problem is: a bad hard drive. Everything I didn’t last back up I lost, which ended up including everything for my most recent book and my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel. Thankfully, my laptop is still under warranty; I’m borrowing my Mom’s spare laptop to work as a replacement while it goes to the depot and comes back. So, I’m back to blogging!

The computer issue has been a heavy burden this past week for me and I’m exhausted emotionally. I had a near panic attack the first night and then after I found out I’d lost my book I was a corpse on my floor for an un-exaggerated two hours. Crying and worrying takes it out of you. Writers, go back up your work now. Like, stop reading this and save your work, email it to someone trustworthy or stick ‘em on a thumb drive. Do not make the mistake I did and assume it can’t happen to you. Assume it will all be lost tomorrow and go save it. Yes, Happy Valentine’s Day to you too.

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Lol I’m being quite dark, mostly to reflect my past week, but I’m doing a lot better now due to hunting for pros in a gallon of cons. Currently I’m grateful for the warranty and that my mom is so wonderful and that I’m single this year.

Self-discovery has revealed that to I would be in an awful fix if I was in a serious relationship right now. I’m still learning how I tick and how to function without becoming co-dependent or overly responsible. I’d like to stay single for a few more years! XD I’m not lonely today; I have a book date from the library this year and my little brother is my Valentine, so all is well. Hopefully in a few more years I’ll be more mature and there will be room in my heart for a relationship. :D

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Besides being dragged over coals this past week, I visited the library, went mini-golfing, and even managed to make my favorite dessert. I even briefly saw an old friend, which made me very happy. I hope this upcoming week will be a lot more relaxing, but grandparents are coming into town, so who knows. ;)

I’m going to end this here. Please pray that I’ll keep finding the positives in the negatives and that the people at Toshiba aren’t able to find an excuse to not cover my laptop. Now, go make sure your stuff is backed up and safe!

~Jamie

Until Further Notice


My computer is having a bad issue right now so I won’t be able to post on either of my two blogs till the problem is resolved. Both blogs have been way overdue for a post and I was working on one when the problems arose, so this makes it all the more frustrating. Hopefully, I will figure everything out soon but until then, blogs and emails will need to wait till after I’ve figured out my problem. Any prayers to give me wisdom as to how to fix the issues would be fantastic. If you need to reach me, Facebook or Twitter would be the prime places (or Skype, too, which I also have on my iPod.) See you guys on the other side.

Cordially from my Mom’s spare laptop, Jamie